After initially barring Israel due to security concerns, IIHF has now given permission for Israel to participate in the upcoming tournament.

Movie DetailerWorld After initially barring Israel due to security concerns, IIHF has now given permission for Israel to participate in the upcoming tournament.
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The International Ice Hockey Federation announced on Wednesday that Israel will now be allowed to participate in an upcoming tournament, despite initially being barred due to security concerns. The governing body of the sport stated that Israel will be able to take part in the Division III under-20 world championship in Bulgaria, stating that the necessary security measures will be implemented to address any risks associated with Israel’s participation.

“We express our gratitude to the Bulgarian authorities, the Ministry of Youth and Sport, Ministry of Interior, the local police, and all parties involved for their support and assistance in resolving this matter,” stated the IIHF.

The IIHF also indicated that future tournaments, such as the 2024 men’s and women’s world championships, will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, with safety and security being of paramount importance. Additional IIHF council meetings are scheduled for February and March to further discuss the issue and make decisions.

“Allowing the Israeli national team to participate in a one-week tournament without ensuring the safety and security of all individuals involved would be irresponsible,” emphasized the IIHF.

The NHL, which collaborates closely with the IIHF in organizing various international events, expressed “significant concerns” regarding the Israeli ban and sought to understand the rationale behind the decision.

“According to our understanding, this decision is temporary in nature and is primarily driven by the IIHF’s commitment to ensuring the safety and security of all stakeholders, including the Israeli national team and other participating teams,” stated the league on social media. “Importantly, we have also received assurances that this decision does not serve as a sanction against the Israeli Federation and will not impact their status as a full member in good standing with the IIHF.

“We urge the IIHF to promptly address its concerns so that Israeli national teams are not unfairly excluded from future events for which they are eligible and have qualified.”

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