Ice hockey game in the Czech Republic without players from Russia?


EIt's supposed to be a big reunion party. After the North American Ice Hockey League NHL After two years of not playing games overseas because of the corona pandemic, she is now coming back to Europe. First with friendlies in Germany and Switzerland, then the official start of the season between the Nashville Predators and the San José Sharks on October 7th and 8th in the Czech capital Prague.

It's a tradition, since the 1930s there have been more than 100 appearances by NHL teams outside of North America. But now the sporting part is taking a back seat. As Canada's Associated Press reports, Russian players are in because of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine Prague not welcome.

request for exclusion

"We can confirm that the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a letter to the NHL to indicate that at this time neither the Czech Republic nor any other state in the Schengen zone should issue visas to Russian players to enter our territory," said Deputy Secretary of State Martin Smolek told AP. This follows the EU sports ministers who introduced a ban on Russian athletes at sporting events in the EU would have recommended.

Dominik Hašek is said to be a driving force behind the announcement by the Czech Foreign Ministry. The former world-class goalkeeper, himself active in North America for 16 years, has been calling for all Russians to be excluded from the NHL for months. The league denied that. Although she broke off her business relations with Russia in response to the war, individual players were exempted from this.

Alexander Barabanov, a Russian citizen from the San Jose Sharks, could also be affected by a missing visa.


Alexander Barabanov, a Russian citizen from the San Jose Sharks, could also be affected by a missing visa.
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Image: AP


These would represent the NHL and its teams, not Russia, said league chief Gary Bettman. In addition, player advisor Dan Milstein complained of discrimination and death threats against Russian ice hockey stars - although they did not comment on the war at all.



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