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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.
US President Donald Trump is considering expanding his controversial travel ban to seven more countries, five of which are majority Muslim and two that are not, according to reports citing insider sources in Washington.
Modern international sports competitions are akin to war where any misstep or technicality may be used to take out the competition, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko warned visiting athletes.