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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 03.12.2020, 21:20

Setting up second arena for Hockey World Championship in Latvia could take 4 months

BC, Riga, 30.10.2020.Print version

If Latvia is to host all the 2021 Hockey World Championship matches, setting up a second arena could take four months, Edgars Buncis, the head of Hokeja Akademija, the organizer of the championship in Latvia, told LETA.

As reported, due to the recent political developments in Belarus, Latvia does not want to co-host the 2021 Hockey Worlds with Minsk.

The International Ice Hockey Federation's (IIHF) President Rene Fasel told Sports Illustrated earlier this week that, besides Arena Riga, there was another arena in Latvia that met the IIHF requirements. This was the first time Fasel said publicly that, in addition to the Covid-19 pandemic, the political situation in Belarus was also an important consideration in organization of the 2021 championship.

In 2006, when Riga hosted the Hockey World Championship, matches were played at Arena Riga and Skonto Arena. "The technical solution is very similar to that in 2006, albeit better and of much higher quality," said Buncis, adding that the entire process could take about four months.

However, this is just a theoretical option and, until there is no IIHF decision on moving the 2021 championship games in Belarus to Latvia, no further information will be provided. One thing is clear though - if Latvia needs to have one more arena for the championship, it will not be Skonto this time, said Bunncis.

The IIHF Council could consider changing organization of the 2021 Hockey World Championship during a meeting on November 18.

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