Latvia withdraws 2017 World Championship bid

Latvia withdraws 2017 World Championship bid

24 Jan 2012 | Davide Tuniz
 

"Nobody here wants to talk about it," said Federation President Kirovs Lipmans.

 
 
 
 
The Latvian Ice Hockey Federation has decided to withdraw its bid for hosting the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in 2017.

"I have the feeling that this championship in Latvia is not needed, and so in June, at the IIHF Annual Congress, I will retire the candidacy of Latvia," declared Latvian Ice Hockey Federation President Latvia Kirovs Lipmans to the BNS agency. "I made this decision because nobody at the Government of Latvia wants to talk about it, they didn't invite me to discuss it and don't want to hear about it."

Lipmans also criticized the state-owned enterprise Latvijas Valsts meži (Latvian State Woods), which generously finances a private basketball club and in general supports Latvian basketball, a sport where Latvia isn't a top nation.

"I don't understand why the government invests in a private club. This club is engaged in business here and can make money by itself while, for us, funds are constantly reduced. For years, hockey has spread the name of Latvia in the world and we participated in three Olympic Games, while basketball, to say, only once. I don't understand why the country, in 20 years of independence, hasn't been able to build a small, public ice arena without thousands stands, where children could practice and play hockey and figure skate for free. That happens in Sweden and Finland, where children up to 16 years do not have to pay for training. Here, all costs fall on the shoulders of parents and the Federation."
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