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WASHINGTON, DC – After concerted international pressure, including from a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including House Foreign Affairs Lead Republican Michael McCaul, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has pulled this year’s World Championship from Belarus. The lawmakers, led by Rep. Keating (MA-09), sent a letter to the IIHF citing the grave human rights abuses committed by the Lukashenka regime, stating “Belarus, and any other country that does not represent the ethos of good sportsmanship and human rights, should not enjoy the privilege of hosting such a coveted event until the rights, freedoms and sovereignty of their people are fully respected and represented by their government.” Below is a statement from Rep. McCaul.

“As I and my colleagues said in December, Belarus should not be permitted to host the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Championship while the illegitimate Lukashenka regime continues to violently suppress the will of the Belarusian people. I want to commend the IIHF for changing the location of the championships, and I want to strongly encourage all international sporting associations to consider the message they send when they select hosts for future games. By allowing corrupt, authoritarian regimes to host these international sporting events, they are allowing them to whitewash their image.”