EU country issues update on entry line for Russian hockey stars – Reuters
Several Russian players are scheduled to play in the Czech Republic as part of the NHL World Series
Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky has warned that Russian ice hockey players could still be barred from entering the country for two NHL games due to take place in Prague next month.
NHL teams the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators are set to face off in the Czech capital on October 7-8 as part of the 2022 NHL World Series which will open the new season.
Both teams have Russian stars on their rosters, with Alexander Barabanov and Evgeny Svechnikov on the books in San Jose and compatriots Yakov Trenin and Egor Afanasyev at the Predators.
The Czech government has already warned the NHL that it will not be issuing new visas to Russian players as part of broader travel sanctions against the country.
Czech Foreign Minister Lipavsky said on Monday that if Russian players had valid Schengen visas that had been previously granted, they could still enter – although that situation could change.
“It is true that Russian players should not get visas in the Schengen area. If they already have valid visas, they should be allowed to enter, but given the ongoing negotiations, there may still be changes to this,” Lipavsky was quoted as saying by national media.
San Jose general manager Mike Grier said last week that if his team’s Russian contingent were prevented from playing in Prague, he might boycott the games.
« We’re a team, so if they say some guys can’t get through, either we all go or nobody goes. » Grier warned.
The NHL team supports the Russians in the Euro circuit
Hockey has become a particular battleground for anti-Russian sports sanctions imposed by European nations.
The Czech Republic, Latvia, Sweden and Finland are among the countries to declare that all their citizens who play for KHL (Continental Hockey League) teams based in Russia will no longer be considered for selection. ‘National team.
Legendary former Czech goaltender Dominik Hasek has already asked the NHL to suspend all of its Russian players, which would see Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin and dozens of others excluded from the competition.
Failing that, Hasek said Russian hockey stars should « Donate every dollar of your contract to humanitarian aid for the Ukrainian people. »
The NHL suspended its agreement with the KHL and other commercial partners in Russia in March, but showed no willingness to impose sanctions on Russian players who play in the North American elite league.