- © RIA Novosti. Valery Melnikov
© RIA Novosti. Valery Melnikov
SOCHI, March 10 (R-Sport) – There are no concerns about hosting the world hockey championships in Belarus in May despite unrest in neighboring Ukraine, the head of the International Ice Hockey Federation, Rene Fasel, said Monday.
Belarus borders both Russia and Ukraine, which are at loggerheads over the fate of the Ukrainian yet Russian-speaking region of Crimea.
Hosting the world championships in Belarus has previously provoked opposition from European Union leaders citing repeated accusations of human rights abuses by the country’s leadership.
“No, no,” Fasel said, when asked if the political tension meant he had concerns about the world championships, which sometimes attract big names from the NHL.
“We are still working. We are preparing as usual, normal business preparing the world championship in Belarus.”
The world championships run May 9 through 25 with both venues in the Belarusian capital Minsk.