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BLADEOFSTEEL  /  NHL  /  NEWS

IIHF President reveals when they'll discuss potentially reinstating Russia and Belarus, allowing them to play on the international stage

Published August 5, 2023 at 3:41 PM
BY COOPER GODIN

Russia and Belarus have been banned from competing in any International Ice Hockey Federation event since early 2022, following the start of the conflict with Ukraine

Back in March, the IIHF met to talk about potentially reinstating the two nations for the 2023-24 international calendar, but opted not to and now we know when the next discussions will take place.

IIHF President Luc Tardif told reporters in recent days that the will meet to discuss and consider allowing Russia and Belarus back into their competitions in March 2024.

"The issue of the return of Russian athletes will be considered in March 2024? Yes, it is. At the moment we are in contact with the FHR." Tardif said.



Russia's conflict with Ukraine doesn't appear to be ending any time soon and several in the hockey world don't expect them to be allowed back into IIHF competition until years after the war is over.

It's certainly going to be something to keep an eye on next Spring because if the IIHF allows the two nations to return, it'll bring many questions. Most likely, the first tournament they'll both be eligible to play in would be the 2025 IIHF World Junior Championship, but will they be allowed to go straight into the divisions they were in prior to the ban?

The 2025 World Junior teams in each division/level will already be set by the time the IIHF will meet in March 2024, so it'll be interesting to see where they'll be placed and how the structure would work. For a brief period of time, the 2023 World Juniors was going to feature 11 teams and have two teams relegated, but the IIHF opted to stick with their normal format. Could they use that 11-team format for one year just to get things back to normal? It's possible, but we'll have to wait and see if the IIHF decides to allow the two nations to return.

Do you think the IIHF should reinstate Russia and Belarus? Let us know your thoughts in the poll below.

POLL
August 5   |   76 answers
IIHF President reveals when they'll discuss potentially reinstating Russia and Belarus, allowing them to play on the international stage

Should the IIHF reinstate Russia and Belarus?

Yes1215.8 %
No, they shouldn't be back anytime soon5167.1 %
Not Sure79.2 %
See Results67.9 %
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