Ice hockey-Russia, Belarus teams remain suspended for 2024-25 season, says international governing body

By Thomson Reuters Feb 12, 2024 | 9:42 PM

(Reuters) – Ice hockey teams from Russia and Belarus will remain suspended from international competition for the 2024-25 season after the sport’s global governing body said it was “not yet safe” to readmit them.

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) suspended all Russian and Belarusian national and club teams from taking part in its events following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022. It also moved the 2023 world championships out of St Petersburg.

“Based on a thorough analysis, the IIHF Council concluded that it is not yet safe to reincorporate the Russian and Belarusian teams back into IIHF competitions …,” it said in a statement on Monday.

“This decision will also apply to the Belarusian team regarding the final Olympic qualification round that will be played in August 2024.”

The IIHF added that it would make a decision on the two countries’ participation in the 2025-26 season by May 2025. The 2026 Winter Olympics will take place in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)