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Russia, Belarus banned from international ice hockey tournaments

Russia, Belarus banned from international ice hockey tournaments
© Reuters
Russia and Belarus are banned from International Ice Hockey Federation tournaments "until further notice" following the invasion of Ukraine.

The International Ice Hockey Federation has announced that Russia and Belarus will not be permitted to take part in IIHF tournaments "until further notice".

After Russian forces invaded Ukraine on the orders of president Vladimir Putin, governing bodies in multiple sports have hit the nation with sanctions and expulsions from various events.

With Belarus reportedly preparing to send troops into Ukraine to support Russia, the IIHF has announced that both nations will be banned from international competitions in every age group.

A statement read: "During an extra-ordinary meeting held on Monday, 28 February, the IIHF Council evaluated the impact of the current war. The IIHF strongly condemns the use of military force and urges the use of diplomatic means to solve conflict.

"The IIHF Council has decided to take the following actions: Suspension of all Russian and Belarusian National Teams and Clubs from participation in every age category and in all IIHF competitions or events until further notice.

"Withdrawal of the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship hosting rights from Russia. These two actions have been initiated by the Council in order to enable the IIHF to ensure the safety of IIHF Championships and all participating players, officials, and fans.

"The IIHF Council has not left out the possibility of further actions impacting future events or other IIHF activities but hopes above all for a swift and peaceful resolution to the war."

Russia have won a total of 13 medals at the men's ice hockey World Championships as an independent nation, most recently taking a bronze in the 2019 tournament.

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