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Opinions & Interviews

28 Jan 2014

Tozik: Preparations for 2014 IIHF World Championship on schedule

Tozik: Preparations for 2014 IIHF World Championship on schedule

MINSK, 28 January (BelTA) - Preparations for the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship proceed on schedule, Vice Premier Anatoly Tozik said at the meeting of the Presidium of the Council of Ministers on 28 January, BelTA has learnt.

“Preparations for the championship proceed on schedule. There are no serious issues that could arouse concern,” Anatoly Tozik said. At the same time, in his words, there are several issues that require close attention today.

Anatoly Tozik talked about the key issues in the preparation for the championship. As for the readiness of sports facilities, the Vice Premier noted: “Minsk Arena and Chizhovka Arena are ready to host the games in line with the regulations of the International Ice Hockey Federation.” The only issue that remains unsettled is the equipment of the two arenas with autonomous power systems in line with the IIHF requirements in order to provide uninterrupted operation of television facilities. The issue is being addressed.

According to the Vice Premier, as of 1 January 2014 there were 44 accommodation facilities (30 hotels and 10 hostels) available in the country. Apart from that, fans will be lodged in five hostels of the student village that envisages a fan village for 5,034 people.

According to Anatoly Tozik, the Minsk City Hall pledged to complete the construction of 14 more hotels (a total of 4,248 rooms) by the time of the championship. According to the plan, four of them should have been commissioned by December 2013. Only one had been completed as scheduled however. One of the facilities has been put online ahead of schedule. The readiness of the rest varies from 75% to 95%. It is expected they will be commissioned in February-April 2014.

According to Anatoly Tozik, there are several hotels which commission deadlines raise concerns. At the same time the Vice Premier noted that if necessary there will be used ten hotels and sanatoriums in four districts of Minsk Oblast, which are able to accommodate 2,105 people.

With all the planned hotels in operation, there will be no problems with allocating guests and participants of the championship, Anatoly Tozik said. In his words, we still can face a staffing problem. This issue should be addressed now, the Vice Premier said. By the way, staff shortage is also relevant for the catering system of the city. Minsk, in particular, can face a shortage of cooks and waiters. As for the opening hours in restaurants and cafes in the capital, they will stay open till the last client. According to Anatoly Tozik, the same working schedule should be introduced, for instance, in theaters, museums and other cultural establishments.

The Vice Premier also talked about security, transportation, cultural programs, excursions, and other issues.

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