Photo: Valeri Dudush

Photo: Valeri Dudush

Due to the political tensions in the country, Ukraine has withdrawn their status as hosts of the  2015 IIHF Division I Group A World Championships next April.

Hosts of the 2013 Division IB World Championships, Donetsk, Ukraine was set to welcome the world’s second best group of hockey countries in an attempt to make their way into the top division for the 2016 edition of the tournament. 

“Unfortunately, we cannot be fully protected against that fact that the political tension in the country is an obstacle for foreign visitors and fans who want to visit the ice festival in Donetsk,” said Anatoli Brezvin, the president of the Ukrainian Ice Hockey Federation. It is our priority to find together with the IIHF and our colleagues from Italy, Kazakhstan, Japan, Hungary and Poland a proper solution that will satisfy everybody – from participants to commercial partners and fans. To do so, we take the first step and declare the withdrawal of our responsibilities to organize the championship in Ukraine.” 

The news comes after a successful World Championship campaign earlier this year, as Ukraine managed to stay alive in Division IA for the first time since their demotion from the top group back in 2008.

The IIHF will make a decision on the new hosts next month at the 2014 IIHF Semi-Annual Congress.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

About The Author

Steven took a different route towards his hockey interests. Starting out as a big Habs fan, he started to gravitate towards the more obscure levels of hockey, such as the low level tournaments in Asia, strange club matches between teams most people in North America can’t pronounce, and even some 3am contests between Bulgaria and New Zealand. Aside from his love for strange hockey events, Steven occasionally acts as a mediocre ball hockey goalie following a failed attempt at making it to the NHL as a fourth line house league grinder. Beyond hockey, Steven is an avid racing fan and loves to chat about NASCAR, F1, Indycar, you name it. Oh, and don’t get him started on music. That is, unless you want the whole history of metal and a guitar lesson. Currently, Steven is a credentialed media member with the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL, as well as with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL. Steven has also hosted the television show "The Hockey House" on TVCogeco in Ontario, as well as a segment under the same with on LeafsTV in Toronto. Home page: http://www.thehockeyhouse.net

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