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Ukraine withdraws – New venue for World Championship Division I Group A

ZURICH/KYIV – The Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine has withdrawn its bid for hosting the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A. The new venue will be determined at the 2014 IIHF Semi-Annual Congress in a month.

The bid to host the event in Donetsk, Ukraine, was initially approved by Congress but due to the political tensions in the country and the turmoil in the city in eastern Ukraine the bid was withdrawn on Friday.

“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,” the Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine’s President Anatoli Brezvin said in a statement.

“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.”

With this decision a new host will be named for the event in April 2015 which will determine the two teams that will be promoted to the top division for the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.

The only other bid that was initially entered was from the Polish Ice Hockey Federation, which recently announced to the media that it would be ready to host the event in case it cannot be hosted in Ukraine and that a likely candidate from Poland would be Krakow with the new Krakow Arena.

The final decision will be made by the 2014 IIHF Semi-Annual Congress that will take place 18-20 September.

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