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Row over Russian ice hockey captain who was denied US visa in ‘breach of international laws’ finally ends days before competition

Row over Russian ice hockey captain who was denied US visa in ‘breach of international laws’ finally ends days before competition
A visa wrangle that saw the president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) accuse the US of “violating international rules” has ended with a reprieve for a hockey ace, allowing him to feature in a showpiece with a week to spare.

Ivan Miroshnichenko has finally been given permission to enter the US to play in the 2021 World U18 Championship in Texas after the forward was granted special permission for a 30-day stay following a last-minute scramble to secure the junior captain's entry.

Russian Ice Hockey Federation (FHR) vice-president Roman Rotenberg said that "much work" had been needed to ensure Miroshnichenko could lead the squad at the global showpiece after US officials denied his request for a visa without any explanation.

We were in close contact with the International Ice Hockey Federation [IIHF] and USA Hockey" Rotenberg told FHR, thanking USA Hockey, the US Olympic Committee and IIHF president Rene Fasel.

"Our good relations with them turned out to be really helpful. Our partners applied maximum effort to allow Miroshnichenko to enter the US."

The star of the national junior squad had his visa application rejected at the end of last week, leading ROC boss Stanislav Pozdnyakov to claim that a "rule has been violated" and a "respectful country" had "breached international rules".

The highly-rated 17-year-old faced similar problems when he attempted to play in leagues in North American, and was denied a Canadian visa several years ago.

The world championship is set to take place in Texas between April 26 and May 6.

Also on rt.com ‘Violating international rules’: Russian Olympic boss hits out at US after decision to deny youth ice hockey captain a visa