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IIHF strips Russia of rights to host 2023 worlds

The International Ice Hockey Federation Council has stripped Russia of hosting rights for the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.

The news was announced following the most recent IIHF Council meeting Tuesday. The tournament had been scheduled to take place next May 5-21 in Saint Petersburg, where a new arena was constructed as centerpiece for the marquee showcase.

This is the second IIHF event removed from Russia since that country invaded Ukraine earlier this year. Russia had previously been set to host the 2023 World Junior Championship as well, and both Russia and Belarus were banned in February from international play until further notice because of the invasion.

“The decision to relocate the event was taken primarily out of concern for the safety and well-being of all participating players, officials, media and fans,” the IIHF said Tuesday in its statement. “As was the case with Council’s earlier decision to withdraw the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship that was to be held in Omsk and Novosibirsk, Russia, the Council expressed significant concerns over the safe freedom of movement of players and officials to, from, and within Russia.”

An alternate host for the 2023 championship will be revealed at the IIHF’s Annual Congress in Tampere, Finland, during the final week of the 2022 World Championship that runs from May 13 to May 29.

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