Belarus, Latvia have infrastructure ready to host 2021 IIHF WM


Belarus, Latvia have infrastructure ready to host 2021 IIHF WM

The World Hockey Championship returns to Minsk! Belarus and Latvia were given the right to jointly conduct the competition in 2021. The Congress of the International Federation on May 19 in Cologne made such a decision. The choice is not easy: Minsk and Riga against Helsinki. As a result, the votes were divided: 55 versus 52. 

Both Belarus and Latvia have already hosted IIHF WMs: the Baltic state welcomed ice hockey fans from all over the world in 2006 while Belarus hosted it in 2014. The latter, by the way, was recognized as one of the best in the history of the event. New sports battles, as planned, will be held from 7 to 23 May 2021. 

It is expected that the semifinal and the medal matches will be held in Minsk.

Igor Rachkovsky, former chairman of the Belarusian Ice Hockey Federation:
We led by only several votes! They voted for Belarus, for Minsk, for our people, for hospitality. We have been doing this work for 1.5 years.

Neither Minsk nor Riga have doubts about the quality of event organization. First, both countries have experience in holding competitions of this level. 

Secondly, the entire infrastructure has been already prepared. The main matches will take place at Minsk Arena and Arena Riga.

Nikolay Ananiev, General Director of Minsk Arena:
We are ready to host the championship, since there is an experienced and trained team. We are sure that the championship will be held at the highest level.

Maksim Tolstoy, Chairman of the City Development Committee of the Riga City Council:
We really love ice hockey and really want to host the IIHF WM in Riga again. Both Minsk and Riga are ready to hold it: we don't have to build anything from scratch and it's all is ready.

Yuri Faykov, head coach of the Belarusian national hockey team (U21):
There are promising guys who are already playing overseas, that is, the rejuvenation is on. We work with these guys all the time.

Prior to Minsk and Riga, the hockey championship will be held in Denmark, Slovakia and Switzerland.