The Council of the International Ice Hockey Federation has deprived Russia of the hosting rights for the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
The news was announced after the last IIHF Council meeting on Tuesday. The tournament was due to take place from May 5-21 in St. Petersburg, where a new arena has been built as the centerpiece of the marquee showcase.
This is the second IIHF event removed from Russia since that country invaded Ukraine earlier this year. Russia was also due to host the 2023 World Junior Championship, and both Russia and Belarus were banned from international play in February until further notice due to the invasion.
“The decision to move the event was made primarily out of concern for the safety and well-being of all participating players, officials, media and fans,” the IIHF said in its statement Tuesday. “As was the case with the Council’s earlier decision to withdraw the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship which was to be held in Omsk and Novosibirsk, Russia, the Council has expressed significant freedom of movement concerns in safety of players and officials to, from and within Russia.”
An alternate host for the 2023 Championship will be unveiled at the IIHF Annual Congress in Tampere, Finland, during the final week of the 2022 World Championship which runs May 13-29.