After a seemingly amicable assembly with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, IIHF boss Rene Fasel has insisted that the assembly was not pleasant, and that the IIHF has made strict calls for of Belarus. The president of the Worldwide Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), Rene Fasel, has defended his assembly with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, saying his group “got here in with particular necessities that the federal government ought to fulfill so that [this year’s] World Championship can happen in Minsk.”
The IIHF is coming underneath mounting stress to strip Belarus of its half of the match shared with Latvia, amid a violent crackdown on opposition protesters. German International Minister Heiko Maas tweeted on Thursday that “anybody who’s severe about solidarity with Belarus can not significantly need to maintain an Ice Hockey World Championship on this scenario. It might be the best PR reward for Lukashenko and a devastating sign to the demonstators. I hope the organizers understand that.”
Fasel was seen warmly embracing Lukashenko earlier than their talks on Monday. Giving an interview to the in-house IIHF web site, Fasel stated that he “regretted” the damaging response attributable to the photographs and video of the assembly. “If we made the impression that it was only a pleasant assembly, this isn’t correct and was not our intention,” he stated. “This assembly was taken in a severe tone and with the IIHF bringing particular and troublesome inquiries to the desk.”
“If we transfer ahead with Minsk as a match host, we additionally should set up a system the place we will be assured that the Belarus authorities is taking concrete actions in direction of fulfilling the pledges made to the IIHF, in any other case it won’t be potential to carry a World Championship in Minsk,” he added. Fasel signalled his intention that Belarus ought to stay as a co-host, saying that he hoped sport might be used as “a method to deliver folks collectively.”
However he revealed that Denmark had put itself ahead as a potential substitute if wanted, and that discussions have been additionally being held with Slovakia.