IIHF president Rene Fasel has said the IIHF intends on fining the Russian Ice Hockey Federation for their actions following the World Championship gold medal game. Following their 6-1 loss to Canada, Russian players left the ice before the Canadian anthem was played. Fasel said he doesn’t blame the players for the incident, instead putting the onus on the coaching staff.
The IIHF is investigating the actions of the Russian team during the post-game ceremony following the gold medal game at the World Championship.
Following Russia’s 6-1 defeat at the hands of Canada, many of the Russian players, as well as coaches and training staff, left the ice before the Canadian national anthem was played and the flag was lifted in honor of Canada’s victory. Several Russian players, including Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Viktor Tikhonov and Dmitry Kulikov, remained on the ice throughout the post-game celebration and Canadian anthem.
IIHF president Rene Fasel told TASS, a Russian news outlet, that it was the first time in his tenure that he had seen something so disrespectful happen at the World Championship. Fasel doesn’t, however, put the blame on the players.
According to TASS, Fasel said he saw the actions of players like Ovechkin and Malkin, who urged their teammates to stay on the ice following the loss, but it should have been up to the Russian coaching staff and GM to keep the team present for the closing ceremony.
Fasel said that now, upon completion of the tournament, the IIHF will review the actions of the Russian squad and decide upon a punishment then.
“At the moment we are collecting and reviewing footage of the post-game ceremony,” said IIHF communications manager Adam Steiss. “Once we have all the facts straight the president along with the IIHF Council will decide how best to proceed. The case could be referred to the IIHF Disciplinary Board, which would then conduct a more thorough investigation that may take some time to complete.”
This is the second incident in the past year that has occurred with the Russian club following gold medal losses to Canada. At the World Junior Championship in January, Russian defenseman Ziat Paigin threw his stick into the crowd following a loss in the gold medal game. Paigin was subsequently suspended for two games of international competition.
[Editor’s Note: This article originally read that Team Russia left during the anthem, when in fact they left before the anthem was played. We apologize for the error.]