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The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has censured World Championship hosts Latvia after officials in Riga replaced the Belarusian flag in protest at the alleged ‘hijacking’ of an airplane by the authorities in Minsk.
The Belarusian flag has been publicly removed from a display representing the nations at the Ice Hockey World Championships in Latvia, in protest at the alleged ‘state-sponsored hijacking’ of a plane by the authorities in Minsk.
Belarusian capital Minsk has been stripped of co-hosting rights for the 2021 men’s IIHF World Championship, following multiple calls from human rights activists to relocate the tournament amid public protests.
The vice president of the Belarus Olympic Committee, Dmitry Dovgalenok, has said the Olympic governing body took a one-sided position while imposing a Tokyo 2020 ban on a number of Belarusian officials.
The Belarusian national sports team could be penalized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which is investigating allegations of political discrimination against athletes who don’t support President Alexander Lukashenko.
Around 200 people were detained on Sunday as the Belarusian capital, Minsk, and other cities hosted rallies, during which the opposition held a “people’s inauguration” of exiled presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.
CSKA Moscow striker Ilya Shkurin has made a stand against the disputed Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko, saying he will refuse to play for his country until he steps down from power.
The Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman said on Thursday that Moscow has seen evidence of outside meddling in the unrest currently engulfing neighboring Belarus. But Maria Zakharova said Russia is not one of the guilty parties.
Mike Pompeo has tried to de-ice relations with Belarus, a country sanctioned by the US over a decade ago, promising to appoint an ambassador to Minsk along with other perks for siding with Washington.