Russia and Belarus will likely be excluded from the ice hockey world championships for an additional 12 months by means of the 2024-25 season, the game’s governing physique mentioned Monday, citing safety dangers through the navy invasion of Ukraine.
The Worldwide Ice Hockey Federation mentioned “it’s not but secure to reincorporate the Russian and Belarusian groups again into IIHF competitions.”
The most recent renewal of the ban will lengthen the international locations’ exclusions to greater than three years, with “safety considerations for gamers, competitors workers and followers” beforehand given as causes.
The following Winter Olympics is because of open Feb. 6, 2026 in northern Italy and hockey will likely be performed in Milan with NHL gamers concerned for the primary time since 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
On the NHL All-Star Weekend this month in Toronto, Russian Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning was requested if his nation was going to be part of the Olympics.
“I wish to go — I feel everyone needs to go, and it positively means rather a lot for the nation,” Kucherov mentioned. “Hopefully, my fingers crossed, that we will be within the Olympics — Workforce Russia goes to be within the Olympics. And it should be an actual finest versus finest as a result of when Workforce Russia just isn’t on the market, it is not the identical.”
The Russian group took gold on the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics and silver in 2022 in Beijing.
Ice hockey is a favorite sport performed by each Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.