Latvia and Finland mull joint bid for ice hockey world championships

Take note – story published 1 year ago

Latvia and Finland are considering jointly organizing next year's Ice Hockey World Championships, which have been stripped from Russia, the president of the Latvian Ice Hockey Federation Aigars Kalvītis told Latvian Television May 9, the LETA newswire reports.

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) revoked Russia's rights to organize the 2023 Ice Hockey World Championships due to its war against Ukraine.

''We are very seriously looking into submitting a joint bid with Finland. One of the group stages would be held in Rīga, while the other - in Tampere. We are prepared to take this responsibility. We will see how things move forward in the coming days,'' Kalvītis said.

Latvia organized last year's World Championships. Originally, that was part of a joint bid with Belarus, following a public outcry about dictator Alexander Lukashenko's rigged re-election and subsequent brutal suppression of dissent, Rīga hosted the tournament single-handed, despite the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Meanwhile, Slovenia and Hungary have already announced a joint bid to organize the 2023 Ice Hockey Worlds, which would probably stand a better chance given that Latvia hosted last year's tournament and this year Finland is the host.

The decision on who will be granted the right to organize the tournament will be made during the IIHF's Congress on May 26-27. 

This year's Ice Hockey World Championships will take place from May 13 to 29 in Finland, with Latvia to open the tournament this Friday against the United States.

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