Belarus to host the 2014 World Championship

by Fredrik P•lsson Sweden and Finland will co-host both in 2012 and 2013. Today IIHF announced Belarus as the host for the 2014 World Championship. Belarus got 75 votes at the congress and beat the other candidates Hungary (24 votes) Latvia (3) and Ukraine (3). "Hosting this championship will not only boost the national economy, but also take Belarusian ice hockey to a whole new level," the Chairman of the Belarusian Ice Hockey Association, Vladimir Naumov, said. "Our devoted fans are eager to see their idols with their own eyes to admire, learn, adopt the best traditions, and lay a sound foundation for future victories." The tournament will be played in two new arenas in Belarus' capital Minsk. The main arena will be the 15,000 seat Minsk Arena who is under construction and will open in 2009. A second arena will be built 18 km from the Minsk Arena. Today it was also announced that the World Championship will be co-hosted for the first times both in 2012 and 2013. Finland had earlier been selected as hosts for 2012 and Sweden for 2013 and the countries will still be main hosts those years with both semi finals and the final to be played in Finland 2012 and Sweden 2013. The group stage and quarter finals will be split between the countries with the two hosts playing their games at home. On the IIHF congress today Georgia and Kuwait was accepted as IIHF members, the IIHF now has 68 member countries. The congress also decided that rosters for the upcoming Olympic tournament in 2010 have to be announced no later than December 31, 2009.



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