Tikhanovskaya’s call to boycott the 2021 World Cup of Hockey in Minsk benefits Latvia

The boycott of the Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk can negatively affect not only Belarusian fans and residents of the neighboring country but also the normal development of both hockey and the entire sport. In addition, Latvia, which is the second host of the international tournament, may be interested in changing the rules of the competition. This EADaily was told by St. Petersburg sports TV commentator Andrey Shestakov.

According to the expert, the cancellation of the World Cup in Minsk, which is to be held in May – June next year, will not bring any benefit to “civil society” and “democracy” but, on the contrary, will only worsen the understanding between people and states.

“It’s some kind of stupidity! How can you treat hockey like that? And we’ve been through all these many times. The Americans boycotted the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, we boycotted the 84 Olympics in Los Angeles. Politicians are always trying to interfere in sports,” the expert said, recalling that in 1962 the USSR and CHSR teams did not go to the hockey World Cup in Colorado Springs (USA) in solidarity with the GDR team because the Americans did not let the Team of East Germans there.

The TV commentator suggested that today’s story with a possible boycott of Minsk-2021 is in the hands of neighboring Latvia, which should hold this tournament together with the Belarusians.

“It is possible that it is convenient and profitable for Latvia to host international competitions only at home. Moreover, they have the infrastructure for a serious hockey tournament – the modern Arena Riga can accommodate more than 10,000 spectators,” Andrei Shestakov said.

The sports TV commentator expressed confidence that Belarusians, as one of the organizers of the tournament, will cope with their duties perfectly. “I am familiar with the reviews about the Ice Hockey World Championship, which was held in Minsk in 2014. It was an amazing organization! In my opinion, it is absolutely unfair to leave the fans of this country without a lot of hockey. Moreover, there were no serious riots, as in the United States, where police officers were shot and killed, there were no serious riots in Belarus. Of course, anything is possible in the future. Maybe if the situation gets worse, then due to security reasons the tournament can be postponed. But to abolish it for political reasons, as it is seen today, is a complete absurdity,” he said.