NHL suspends partnerships with Russian businesses amid invasion of Ukraine

Elliotte Friedman breaks down the IIHF's decision to exclude Russia and Belarus from upcoming IIHF events over the next year, along with follow-up statements from Hockey Canada and the NHL.

The NHL is suspending relationships with its business partners in Russia and is pausing the use of its Russian language social channels and digital media sites in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

The league is also discontinuing any consideration of Russia as a location for any future competitions involving the NHL.

The decision comes after sporting bodies and athletes around the world have attempted to navigate the ongoing crisis, issuing restrictions and condemnations that have varied in their intensity.

On Monday, the IIHF suspended Russia and Belarus from every age category in international play until further notice.

FIFA, the highest governing body of soccer in the world, drew swift backlash from European nations for its initial response to Russia’s invasion but changed course on Monday, banning Russian teams from international competition “until further notice” in a joint statement made with UEFA.

“Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine,” FIFA said in its statement. “Both Presidents hope that the situation in Ukraine will improve significantly and rapidly so that football can again be a vector for unity and peace amongst people.”

Earlier on Monday, the International Olympic Committee’s executive board urged sports federations and event organizers to bar Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from competitions. The recommendation came mere days before the Paralympics are set to begin on March 4. When doing so wasn’t possible for “organizational or logistical” reasons, the IOC said everything in an organizer’s power should be done to ensure that “no athlete or sports official from Russia or Belarus be allowed to take part under the name of Russia or Belarus.”

According to the International Paralympic Committee, most of Russia’s 71 athletes are set to compete and will have arrived in Beijing by Tuesday.

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