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Due to the political tensions in the country, Ukraine has withdrawn their status as hosts of the  2015 IIHF Division I Group A World Championships next April.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

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