PtG Article 30.03.2012

IIHF urged to consider boycot of Belarus

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) is to consider moving the 2014 hockey world championship in Belarus to a different country “until the regime shows commitment to human rights and the rule of law” stated a European Parliament resolution passed yesterday.

The IIFH has invited the 70 member nations to raise the issue of boycotting the championships in Belarus because of human rights concerns, however adds that the IIHF has an obligation to stay neutral:

“The IIHF observes strict political, racial and religious neutrality,” the body said in a statement. “No discrimination is permitted against a member national association or person on political, racial or religious grounds.”

The statement added, however, that “any of the 70 IIHF members … will have an opportunity to raise the issue of whether it is appropriate to play in Belarus” at the next congress in Helsinki in May.

“If the issue of Belarus 2014 will be raised, it will be up to the congress to make a decision.”