IIHF bans Russia, Belarus indefinitely from all competition

The International Ice Hockey Federation is banning Russia and Belarus from competition until further notice while condemning the use of military force to solve conflict.

A meeting with the IIHF and its council was called last week to discuss a course of action following Russia's invasion of Ukraine as FIFA and other international sporting bodies began suspending and banning the nation for invading Ukraine.

From IIHF president Luc Tardif on Monday:

Teams from Russia and Belarus are suspended from all IIHF competition until further notice, while the former loses the right to host the 2023 world juniors. (Getty)
All teams from Russia and Belarus are suspended from IIHF competition until further notice, while the former loses the right to host the 2023 world juniors. (Getty)

"The IIHF is not a political entity and cannot influence the decisions being taken over the war in Ukraine. We nevertheless have a duty of care to all of our members and participants and must therefore do all we can to ensure that we are able to operate our events in a safe environment for all teams taking part in the IIHF World Championship program.

"We were incredibly shocked to see the images that have come out of Ukraine. I have been in close contact with members of the Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine and we hope for all Ukrainians that this conflict can be resolved in a peaceful way and without the need for further violence."

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The decision will prevent Russia from participating in six tournaments through until the end of August, including the men's world hockey championship in May, and the recently rescheduled 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship and Women's U-18 tournament.

Also included in the announcement, the IIHF has elected to move the 2023 men's World Junior Hockey Championship out of Novosibirsk and Omsk for next holiday season.

While no longer hosting, Russia is not prevented from participating, as of now. The process of finding a new host for the marquee springtime event is underway.

The NHL also announced Monday that is has suspended its relationships with Russian business partners and paused its Russian language digital and social media accounts.

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