The Winter Olympic Games in Sochi may cause reviewing the concept of the ice hockey world championship, which is to be held in Belarus in 2014. It is possible that the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) will have to cancel the tournament, Izvestia writes.
"Of course, the interest to the 2014 world championship in May, only three months after the Olympic Games in Sochi, may be very low. The IIHF Congress has discussed this problem. A new format of the world championship is considered as one of the variants to solve the problem," Russian Hockey Federation executive director Valery Fesyuk said. "It's an open question. No changes have been made so far. A lot of countries propose either to replace the world championship by a European tournament, because, for example, the US and Canada are unlikely to send their teams, or to cancel it."
The only fear of the Belarusian authorities is that some countries may boycott the tournament. However, the press service of the Ice Hockey Federation started to speak about adjusting plans on the world championship.
"A format of the world championship in Belarus will be approved in 2013 at a meeting in Sweden, which is traditionally held after each world tournament. The format is most likely to be changed," the press service of the Belarusian Ice Hockey Federation says.
It should be reminded that human rights activists and international organisations stand against holding the 2014 IIHF World Championship in Minsk. The idea of moving the event to another country was supported by a number of European and American politicians. Some countries threatened to boycott the championship due to repression carried out by the Belarusian authorities.