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IIHF: Russia won’t be readmitted for years (regardless of the outcome of the war)
It may seem like an eternity, but it was just over a year ago that Russia invaded Ukraine, on February 24, 2022. A few days later, the IIHF took action by suspending Russia and Belarus from all international field hockey tournaments for the rest of the year.

Then, two months ago, the organizing committee voted to ban the two countries from the 2023-2024 competitive season – which was, in effect, just a formality of a committee that has to get things right, whatever the context.

The federations’ congress on Friday, however, was an ideal venue to discuss the long-term issues surrounding the two nations.

According to TSN’s Gord Miller, the general feeling among the nations is that Russia won’t be re-admitted for a long time.

Not surprising, you might say, when the war is still going on. It’s what follows that’s pretty big.

“It will be years before Russia and Belarus are readmitted, no matter when or how the invasion of Ukraine ends.

It’s big, but it’s also the next logical step. When you go to war against, essentially, the rest of the world, being excluded from international business, cultural and sporting activities is among the many disadvantages that will hurt the country for many years to come.

One issue to think about, even if it’s a long way off, is the readmission process.

If Russia were to regain its position in Division 1 and a country that had worked very hard to get there were bumped by a country that had invaded another, it would definitely be controversial.

At the same time, if Russia were to start over in Division 3, the implications are not unbelievable for these countries. Firstly, it means that no country would get promoted for two years. Secondly, it means that South Africa could be served up several 17-0 thrashings during the Russians’ year in Division 3. And that’s not even mentioning the fact that the finals would most likely be contested between Russia and Belarus.

Well, for the moment, that’s out of the question. But it’s worth looking into.

In Rafale

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