The IIHF Ethics Board had referred the case to the IIHF Disciplinary Board concerning the potential violation of the IIHF Ethics Code due to propaganda for the war in Ukraine by clubs and leagues under its jurisdiction that were brought to its attention in March 2022, and the failure of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation to take any action to stop or report such violations.
The Deciding Panel took into consideration the response of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation in letters and in the hearing, signs shown by fans at arenas that did not look handmade and appeared in different arenas, posters and billboards with a political context of a more permanent nature at arenas and the fact that clubs decided to publish photos with such messages on their social media accounts.
The Deciding Panel also took note that there is no evidence that the teams or league took any action to limit what signs fans brought into the arenas; that it is clear from the submissions of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation that it took no action and did not advise any of the leagues or teams under its jurisdiction to ensure that any signs in the arenas or postings on team or league social media accounts did not promote or support the war; and that the analyzed postings considering the words and associated symbols did constitute propaganda promoting the war in Ukraine. Signs or billboards showing support for or promoting the war in the Ukraine have no place in an arena or in hockey and the images in this matter constitute a breach of Article 2.2.1 (Dignity) of the IIHF Ethics Code.
The Deciding Panel determined that the Russian Ice Hockey Federation was obliged to take action and should have clearly addressed the situation with the various clubs involved, and in general with all clubs and leagues under its jurisdiction to reinforce the principle that promotion or support of an aggressive war is not acceptable and will lead to a breach of the IIHF Ethics Code. The failure to take any action in this matter is a breach of Article 1.5 and Article C of the IIHF Ethics Code. The Deciding Panel determined that the appropriate sanction in this matter is a reprimand to the Russian Ice Hockey Federation.