Meeting with IIHF President Rene Fasel

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The system of training of Belarusian ice hockey players needs reforming, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with President of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Rene Fasel.

“We are seriously lagging behind Western ice hockey in terms of game concepts, tactics, and strategy. We need to focus on the system of training of athletes, first of all, ice hockey players, using the best practices of Canadian and U.S. specialists as they play different ice hockey there,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “Russians and Europeans are now lagging behind because we are using the old practices. This issue is of special concern for the Belarusian ice hockey.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked Rene Fasel for the attention that the International Ice Hockey Federation pays to Belarus and congratulated him on the re-election as the IIHF president. “Frankly speaking, before the meeting I thought that, perhaps, showing such poor ice hockey results we do not deserve so much attention from your organization. But in a year or two, as it cannot be done overnight, we will sort things out in our sport, particularly in ice hockey, and will deal with our sport functionaries,” the head of state said and added that his evaluation of the current situation in the Belarusian ice hockey has nothing to do with the performance of the national team in the 2018 Olympic qualification.

The President stressed that people are the key to success in sport. “I have already given an instruction to pay serious attention to people working in sport, especially in ice hockey, because ice hockey, just like football, is a very popular, nationwide, and mainstream sport. You are aware of the attitude of people to it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.