IIHF Council takes definitive action over Russia, Belarus
by IIHF|28 FEB 2022
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.

Under the current conditions, this decision would have an impact on the following events:

2022 IIHF Continental Cup (4-6 March 2022)
-Belarus club team HK Gomel would not participate

2022 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship (21 April-01 May 2022) 
-Russia and Belarus men’s U18 teams would not participate

2022 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship (13-29 May 2022)
-ROC and Belarus men’s national teams would not participate

2022 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship (Dates TBD) 
-Russia women’s U18 national team would not participate 

2022 IIHF World Junior Championship (Dates TBD)
-Russia men’s U20 national team would not participate 

2022 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship (26 August-4 September 2022)
-ROC women’s national team would not participate

Any potential sportive impact of the Council decision on tournament seeding and promotion/relegation will be announced in the coming weeks. 

The 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship was scheduled to take place from 26 December 2022 to 5 January 2023. The IIHF will initiate discussions in the coming months to find a new host for the event. 

The decision to relocate the event was taken primarily out of concern for the health and well-being of all participating players, officials, and fans. The IIHF Council also expressed deep concerns over the safe freedom of movement of players and officials to, from, and within Russia. The IIHF Council also took into account the Russian government’s breach of the Olympic Truce, which was adopted in December 2021 as a UN resolution by United Nations General Assembly. The breach of the Olympic Truce led to a condemnation by the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board last week. 

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.  

“The IIHF is not a political entity and cannot influence the decisions being taken over the war in Ukraine,” said IIHF President Luc Tardif. “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,” added Tardif. “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.”