Connect with us

Sports

Calls are rising to deny the Belarusian dictator the right to host the 2021 hockey world cup

Avatar

Published

on


Calls are rising to deny the Belarusian dictator the right to host the 2021 hockey world cup

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka greets René Fasel, head of the International Ice Hockey Federation in Minsk on January 11 (Nikolai Petrov / BELTA / TASS via REUTERS)

Hello my love! exclaimed Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka, rushing across the room to give a hug.

The man in the dictators hug was not a co-authoritarian ruler but René Fasel, the head of the International Ice Hockey Federation. Fasel was in Minsk on January 11 to spread the news that Belarus would not be impeached as co-host of the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Cup and to discuss plans to co-host the prestigious international event with Latvia.

With Lukashenka currently cracking down on pro-democracy protests across Belarus, the friendly tone of the meeting sparked widespread criticism. It went a little wrong, I must say, Fasel recognized two days later. It’s a bit embarrassing.

Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya was one of many to emphasize the precise nature of this embarrassment. René Fasel meets Lukashenka today, she tweeted. A few miles away, people are held in inhumane conditions as political prisoners.

After being denounced by the Belarusian opposition and facing protests from Latvia, the other host country said for the championship, Fasel said the meeting should not be seen as a sign of support for Lukashenkas’ regime. However, by holding this meeting and refusing to take the championship away from Belarus, the hockey chief has unwittingly joined a small club of those legitimizing Lukashenka’s crackdown on the international stage, including Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, China and North Korea.

I wanted to use this special relationship with Lukashenka to do something good, said Fasel. So that the world championships could be a kind of reconciliation between government and opposition.

It remains unclear how Fasel expects the May-June championship to help the Belarusian people reconcile with a regime that has beaten and arrested tens of thousands while allegedly shutting down hundreds. torture. After the bear cuddle meeting, a petition organized by Belarusian hockey player Yulia Abasava against the IIHFs recognition of Lukashenka jumped to more than 50,000 signatures.

Sign up for the latest news from BelarusAlert

Receive updates for events, news and publications about Belarus from the Atlantic Council.

Despite regular protests to the contrary, sport has never been divorced from politics, and this year’s ice hockey championships are no different. Ice hockey is in fact an integral part of Lukashenkas politics. The top officials of Belarusian ice hockey associations have long been in the inner circle of the dictators. Before spending nearly a decade as Lukashenkas Minister of the Interior, Uladzimir Navumau served as the head of the organization.

At a time when the international community is trying to put pressure on Lukashenka, who is recognized by both the European Union and the United States as having stolen the Belarusian presidential election in August 2020, IIHF’s action gives the strongman a much needed lifeline of legitimacy. . Likewise, removing Belarus to co-host the championship and moving the event from Belarus would be a devastating blow to an increasingly illegal and violent regime.

Even if Fasel refuses to ditch Lukashenka, the championship is unlikely to run smoothly. Since the current pro-democracy uprising first erupted in August 2020, the people of Belarus have shown a remarkable ability to find increasingly inventive ways to protest the regime. In the current climate, it is almost certain that they will use human power to disrupt matches, prevent teams from traveling to arenas, and do everything in their power to ensure that the defining images of the championship are not of players on the ice, but of people in the streets.

Latvia is already leading the way by calling on Fasel and the IIHF to change course. Latvian officials are asking for permission to organize the championship together with another country. One of the most important questions now is whether the other countries that will participate in the championship will follow the lead of Latvia. Sweden, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Slovakia, Denmark, Great Britain, Canada, Finland, the United States, Germany, Norway, Italy and Kazakhstan can still declare that if Lukashenka is their host, they will not take to the ice.

Championship opponents argue that a position in the sports arena is just as important as other international efforts to end the brutality in Belarus. The sanctions passed by the international community have sent an important message to the Lukashenkas regime, but these measures will have only so much effect. Lukashenkas’s international isolation must be complete until he resigns and orders his troops to stop violating the civilian population.

Perhaps Fasel inadvertently hit the nail on the head during a interview on January 12. We are not naive to think that hosting a world championship in Minsk will solve all problems in the country, Fasel said. But that doesn’t mean we can’t explore whether the IIHF can use some degree of influence to initiate positive changes in the country’s future.

The IIHF has more influence here than it realizes and may want to admit. One of the first things that comes to mind when we look back at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow is the international boycott of the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Like it or not, the 2021 Ice Hockey World Cup is now in danger of being remembered for all the wrong reasons.

Fasel may be trying to skate past without controversy, but he and the rest of the IIHF will have to choose a side anyway. Either they stay in Lukashenkas to embrace and keep Belarus as host to the championship, or they side with the Belarusian people and the international community in recognizing that this privilege would only legitimize a violent authoritarian regime. It shouldn’t be a difficult decision.

Doug Klain is a Program Assistant at the Atlantic Councils Eurasia Center. Find him on Twitter @DougKlain.

Read further

The views expressed in UkraineAlert are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Atlantic Council, its staff or its supporters.

Read more about UkraineAlert

UkraineAlert is a comprehensive online publication that provides regular news and analysis on developments in Ukrainian politics, economy, civil society and culture.

read more

The Eurasia Center’s mission is to strengthen transatlantic cooperation in promoting stability, democratic values ​​and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe and Turkey in the west to the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia in the east.

What Are The Main Benefits Of Comparing Car Insurance Quotes Online

LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / June 24, 2020, / Compare-autoinsurance.Org has launched a new blog post that presents the main benefits of comparing multiple car insurance quotes. For more info and free online quotes, please visit https://compare-autoinsurance.Org/the-advantages-of-comparing-prices-with-car-insurance-quotes-online/ The modern society has numerous technological advantages. One important advantage is the speed at which information is sent and received. With the help of the internet, the shopping habits of many persons have drastically changed. The car insurance industry hasn't remained untouched by these changes. On the internet, drivers can compare insurance prices and find out which sellers have the best offers. View photos The advantages of comparing online car insurance quotes are the following: Online quotes can be obtained from anywhere and at any time. Unlike physical insurance agencies, websites don't have a specific schedule and they are available at any time. Drivers that have busy working schedules, can compare quotes from anywhere and at any time, even at midnight. Multiple choices. Almost all insurance providers, no matter if they are well-known brands or just local insurers, have an online presence. Online quotes will allow policyholders the chance to discover multiple insurance companies and check their prices. Drivers are no longer required to get quotes from just a few known insurance companies. Also, local and regional insurers can provide lower insurance rates for the same services. Accurate insurance estimates. Online quotes can only be accurate if the customers provide accurate and real info about their car models and driving history. Lying about past driving incidents can make the price estimates to be lower, but when dealing with an insurance company lying to them is useless. Usually, insurance companies will do research about a potential customer before granting him coverage. Online quotes can be sorted easily. Although drivers are recommended to not choose a policy just based on its price, drivers can easily sort quotes by insurance price. Using brokerage websites will allow drivers to get quotes from multiple insurers, thus making the comparison faster and easier. For additional info, money-saving tips, and free car insurance quotes, visit https://compare-autoinsurance.Org/ Compare-autoinsurance.Org is an online provider of life, home, health, and auto insurance quotes. This website is unique because it does not simply stick to one kind of insurance provider, but brings the clients the best deals from many different online insurance carriers. In this way, clients have access to offers from multiple carriers all in one place: this website. On this site, customers have access to quotes for insurance plans from various agencies, such as local or nationwide agencies, brand names insurance companies, etc. "Online quotes can easily help drivers obtain better car insurance deals. All they have to do is to complete an online form with accurate and real info, then compare prices", said Russell Rabichev, Marketing Director of Internet Marketing Company. CONTACT: Company Name: Internet Marketing CompanyPerson for contact Name: Gurgu CPhone Number: (818) 359-3898Email: [email protected]: https://compare-autoinsurance.Org/ SOURCE: Compare-autoinsurance.Org View source version on accesswire.Com:https://www.Accesswire.Com/595055/What-Are-The-Main-Benefits-Of-Comparing-Car-Insurance-Quotes-Online View photos



picture credit

ExBUlletin

to request, modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]