Latvia to host world hockey championship after Belarus stripped of match for human rights abuses

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The 2021 males’s ice hockey world championship shall be held in Latvia’s capital Riga, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) mentioned on Tuesday.

The announcement comes after Belarus was stripped of the best to co-host the match. The IIHF mentioned in a press release that it made this determination “due to safety and security issues that are beyond the IIHF’s control”.

Earlier, the opposition in Belarus known as for the nation to be stripped of the occasion due to President Alexander Lukashenko’s crackdown on protesters opposing his re-election. Volkswagen’s Skoda Auto and Liqui Moly had additionally threatened to drag out as match sponsors if it was held in Belarus.

Denmark and Slovakia have been prepared to co-host the occasion however the IIHF determined it was finest to maintain all groups in Riga: “With continued uncertainty surrounding international travel restrictions, the Council believes that keeping all teams in Riga throughout the tournament and avoiding travel between two host countries is the safest and most cost-effective way to operate the event”, the IIHF mentioned.

The May 21-June 6 match shall be held at two venues in Riga — the Arena Riga and the Olympic Sports Centre. All groups are set to be housed in a single resort.