Latvia to host 2021 Ice Hockey Worlds without spectators

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RIGA, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) — Latvia on Wednesday pledged to host an “epidemiologically safe” men’s ice hockey world championship this year, after governing body the IIHF awarded the country’s capital city Riga the rights to organize the tournament.

“This will be a championship without spectators, epidemiologically safe and held in a bubble where the players and staff will be completely separated from the rest of society,” Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins told local television.

Meanwhile, Aigars Kalvitis, president of the Latvian Hockey Federation, said the presence of spectators at the event will depend on the epidemiological situation in Latvia, and if it has improved enough by May, organizers would be ready to arrange ticket sales in three days’ time.

The government on Wednesday approved an additional allocation of 3 million euros for the international sporting event. Karins said, however, that the International Ice Hockey Federation would pay the “lion’s share” of the tournament’s costs.

The 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will take place in Riga from May 21 to June 6. Enditem

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