With Oleg Znarok's suspension coming at a crucial moment for his team, IIHF.com spoke with President René Fasel to get the reasons behind the suspension.
Under which rule does the infraction fall under?
“IIHF Rule 551 d) states that any team official who makes any obscene gesture to any official or any person shall be assessed a match penalty. Znarok’s gesture clearly falls under this category.”
Why was the match penalty not called on the ice?
“The referees were at the time trying to manage the players on the ice and did not see the gesture, which came around the time a Swedish player was being ejected from the game for a game misconduct charging penalty. There were a few altercations going on between the players and this is when the exchange between the Russian and Swedish officials occurred.”
What is so bad about the gesture?
“It amounts to an implied death threat and there is simply no place for that in our game. The Russian coach is representing his country in an international competition and must be held accountable for the actions he commits during a game. The same thing goes for Sweden’s assistant coach who was involved in the verbal altercation.”
Could Oleg Znarok be reprimanded further?
"He will not receive any further disciplinary actions."
Will he be able to attend the game?
“Yes but he will not be able to be on the bench, nor can he be involved with the team prior to the game or during the game.”
Why is the Disciplinary Panel managing this case?
“During the IIHF World Championship the Disciplinary Panel has exclusive jurisdiction to initiate disciplinary proceedings concerning violations of the IIHF Playing Rules. It is independent, not bound by instruction and is not accountable to anyone for its decisions.”
“In this case the Panel’s decision to suspend is made according to the 2014 IIHF Independent Disciplinary Panel Guidelines, which was delivered to all the teams prior to the start of the tournament, and was also discussed with all the team coaches at the Team Rules Information Meeting on 8 May.”
Any further comment?
“It’s really sad that at the end of this fantastic tournament we had an unacceptable exchange between two coaches that should not happen in a top level international hockey tournament. We as a federation have to make sure by using our existing rules and regulations that these actions aren’t repeated in the future.”