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Opinions & Interviews

5 Jan 2015

Lukashenko: Christmas tournament confirms important role of sport in promoting international friendship

Lukashenko: Christmas tournament confirms important role of sport in promoting international friendship

MINSK, 5 January (BelTA) – The Christmas Amateur Ice Hockey Tournament confirms the vital role of sport in promoting friendship between nations, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said during the opening ceremony of the 11th Christmas International Amateur Ice Hockey Tournament for the Prize of the President of the Republic of Belarus on 4 January, BelTA has learned.

During the opening ceremony Alexander Lukashenko noted: "Holding such an important event in the early days of the new year is another testament to the role that sport plays in promoting friendship and understanding between peoples."

Opening ceremony of the 11th Christmas International Amateur Ice Hockey Tournament for the Prize of the President of the Republic of BelarusThe President said that Belarus recently hosted the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship which drew a huge number of fans. Minsk set a new attendance record of the ice hockey world championships. The President of the International Ice Hockey Federation named the Minsk championship the best in history," he said.

"By holding the Minsk Christmas tournament which is dubbed the unofficial world championship among amateur hockey teams, we continue a series of international competitions and give start to the next sports season," Alexander Lukashenko underlined.

Opening ceremony of the 11th Christmas International Amateur Ice Hockey Tournament for the Prize of the President of the Republic of BelarusThe head of state participated in the match against Slovakia as part of the President's team.

Teams from eight countries will participate in the 11th Christmas Amateur Ice Hockey Tournament for the Prize of the President of Belarus, which will be running in Minsk from 4 to 7 January 2015. The tournament has brought together teams from Germany, Latvia, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland and Finland. Belarus will be represented by the ice hockey team of the Belarusian President.

Opening ceremony of the 11th Christmas International Amateur Ice Hockey Tournament for the Prize of the President of the Republic of BelarusIn the preliminary round, the teams are pitted into two groups. The two second-placed teams will play in the bronze-medal match. The first-placed teams will advance to the gold-medal game.

The team of the President of Belarus is the eight-time winner of the Christmas international tournament (2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014). Team Russia is a two-time champion (2007 and 2011).

The organizers of the event are the Ministry of Sport and Tourism of the Belarusian Ice Hockey Federation (BIHF), the Minsk City Hall and the President's Sports Club. The partners of the tournament include the Velcom and Chistyi Bereg companies, Belarusian Potash Company, Belneftekhim and Belarusbank. The Belarusian TV and Radio Company is the information partner.

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