Lukashenko: "Do we really need Dinamo in KHL?"

Lukashenko: "Do we really need Dinamo in KHL?"

22 Feb 2013 | Davide Tuniz

Belarus President questioned the participation of Dinamo in KHL and the format of the League.


"Maybe we should withdraw from the League, do not spend millions of dollars, and invest the money in your own hockey". Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko closed with this consideration an interview about the state of national hockey after the elimination of Dinamo from KHL postseason and the missed qualification to Olympics Games in Sochi by National team.

We live in Minsk, tomorrow we fly to Khabarovsk,Kolyma, Chukotka, places very far, to play with these clubs. We need two days to come back, two days without training and rest, nothing. Why KHL not divide the League before the Urals and after the Urals and make the Eastern and the Western Conference as in the NHL? " said Lukashenko, suggesting also the creation of another pan-european league. "The Russians have the KHL, the Kazakhs would perhaps be connected, and so Ukraine, but Europeans must have their league. And we should play there. We can fly to Berlin, two or three hours of the flight, play there and come back in the same day. Athletes have the opportunity to rest. And so we travel a lot, but bearing the high costs."

"In the near future I will have a conversation with this trinity - the Minister of Sports, the Assistant to the President, the First Vice-President of the NOC. And I'll ask them how they evaluating the last Dinamo season. And let's deal with salaries, and see whether we have a Dinamo Minsk in the KHL in the future "

Lukashenko also commented the fiasco of Belarus team in Olympic Qualifications: " I am ashamed of the Belarusian hockey. The fact of national hockey team does not get to the Olympics it's a disgrace. Look at Latvia that is a team! We lost to whom? Slovenia!.They have 700 players across the country, there isn't a decent domestic championship. We lost against this reality! It is necessary to think and to find answers to these questions." 

Some reactions come from Russian hockey after the words of Lukashenko.

Former Russia coach Vladimir Yurzinov said Alexander Lukashenko' s words are due to emotions: "Emotions of a frustrated man.You can understand it.So much money invested in the team, and Dinamo misses the playoffs.Plus the national team of Belarus out of the Olympics in Sochi. About the idea of reforming KHL, which Lukashenko suggested, can not say anything - not my area. But for example, I can see that in the MHL we have two Belarusian teams"

Also Alexander Kozhevnikov agrees with Yurzinov: "I think Lukashenko said on emotions. His team failed to make the playoffs, so he said that. I think an exit from the KHL will not benefit the Belarusian hockey.Where will they play?"

Another former coach Alexander Yakushev is not so far from Lukashenko ideas: "The problem with the big distances in the KHL is real. When everyone plays with everyone this is not quite correct from an economic standpoint. Think that you can try the option that offers Lukashenko. Then estimate. To make the correct conclusion you have to evaluate several options, then it will become clear which scheme is optimal. Lukashenko's proposal for a new division in the conference isn't unfounded. League should listen to him."

The only "official" voice from KHL is from the Director of Sport Events Dmitry Kurbatov: "The exit of Dinamo from the KHL? Belarusian President expresses his personal position. There is no claim that Dinamo comes out of the League. He just asked rhetorically: "perhaps, we should exit...." How can I comment? No comment, If Dinamo will take any legal action, then you will see the reaction. But not now."

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