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Opinions & Interviews

19 Jan 2017

Ryzhenkov: Belarus-Latvia sports forum co-hosting will be a project of cross-border cooperation

Ryzhenkov: Belarus-Latvia sports forum co-hosting will be a project of cross-border cooperation

MINSK, 20 January (BelTA) – The bid submitted by Belarus and Latvia to co-host the 2021 IIHF World Championship is not just a matter of sport. It will also be a project of cross-border cooperation in the economic and political sectors, First Deputy Head of the Belarus President’s Administration, First Vice President of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Belarus Maxim Ryzhenkov told the media, BelTA has learned.

The Minsk Town Hall hosted the joint bid signing ceremony on 19 January. Finland also bids to host the event.

“The 2014 IIHF World Championship in Minsk and the 2006 IIHF World Championship in Latvia had a positive effect on the tourism sector of the two countries and, of course, increased the interest in ice hockey and sports in general. Taking into account the successful organization of the tournament in Minsk, an idea has been voiced to bring ice hockey battles back to the Belarusian capital. It is important that this time we will be partners with Latvia. The proposals of the Riga delegation, which was received by the President of Belarus, were heard. The project will show how neighbors can work together in the organization of such a big sports forum,” said the NOC First Vice President.

“In 2019 Belarus will host the Second European Games. It will be a serious test for the country. I am confident that we will be able to host the ice hockey championship at a high level, as the tournament envisages only one discipline. In the joint bid Alexander Lukashenko also sees a good project in cross-border cooperation, economic and political sectors,” Maxim Ryzhenkov noted.

The final decision on the host or hosts of the 2021 IIHF World Championship will be made at the IIHF Congress in Cologne on 19 May 2017.

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