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24 Nov 2015

Lukashenko unhappy with ice hockey development in Belarus

MINSK, 24 November (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko expressed his dissatisfaction with the development of ice hockey in the country as he heard out the relevant report on 24 November, BelTA informs.

Alexander Lukashenko stressed that the issues related to ice hockey development had been discussed before. “Great attention is attached to this sport in our country. Ice hockey in Belarus has many fans,” he noted.

At the same time the President expressed concerns regarding the current situation in the sport. “The situation in this sport raises some concerns and it is high time we dealt with every aspect of the matter. Some of those who are present here today have asked me to hold this meeting. It was your request and, I will repeat it, this request was a timely one. I do not think we should consider some fundamental issues today. I believe they have been addressed at my level and at the level of the government long time ago. If there are any minor issues, I am ready to discuss them,” said the head of state.

The President reiterated: “I am more than concerned with the state of affairs in ice hockey. It cannot be this way. If this trend continues, the most radical measures will be taken in the shortest possible time.”

“As for HC Dinamo Minsk, here we are going from best to worst. Today we can win with a five-goal advantage and lose with the same goal difference tomorrow. This is not the game we should have. We need some stability here,” the head of state said.

At the same time, he recalled: considerable money has been invested in ice hockey. "The state does not have extra money to spare. It is time to become self-sufficient. Clubs should earn money and spend it according to the country’s laws. The support from the state will be reducing,” Alexander Lukashenko noted.

"I am totally dissatisfied with the work of the Minister of Sport and Tourism, aide to the president for sport and the head of the federation," said the head of state. He believes that they need to make adjustments in their work.

The President noted that the report should be about problems rather than the achievements he is well informed about.

Chairman of the Ice Hockey Federation Igor Rachkovsky reported on the situation in the sport, including the preparations for the IIHF World Championship 2016, and the state of affairs in the national hockey team. "Today there are no pressing issues. The only unpleasant situation we have encountered was in the KHL when our Russian colleagues changed the rules of competition in part of the legionary status of Belarusians in the league. This happened despite firm assurances from the Russian Sport Minister and the head of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation. To address this problem, we even involved President of the International Ice Hockey Federation Rene Fasel and State Secretary of the Union State Grigory Rapotu who wrote a letter to the Russian Sport Ministry on the inadmissibility of such actions,” said Igor Rachkovsky.

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