The RIHF expresses concern following an incident at the Future Cup

The Russian Ice Hockey Federation (RIHF) expresses concern about an incident which occurred following the conclusion of a match between Russia U18 and Belarus U20 at the Future Cup in Minsk, Belarus.

We are studying all of the circumstances which led to the misunderstanding regarding the Russian players' decision to leave their team and individual awards on the ice. The RIHF would like to note that all other procedures associated with the post-match ceremony were followed by the Russian team, with our players shaking the hands of their opponents and remaining on the ice to listen to the national anthem of the Republic of Belarus. At the same time, the RIHF would also like to state that it does not agree with the behaviour of the U18 Russian players.

Here is a statement released by players representing the under 18 Russian national team:

"We, the players of the under 18 Russian national team, appreciate the opportunity to play at international level against Belarus and Kazakhstan, and the excellent conditions provided by the Belarusian Ice Hockey Federation on every occasion when we play here.

We're disappointed if our actions with regard to the awards ceremony after playing against Belarus at the Future Cup were regarded as disrespectful.

Our actions were associated with our emotional state after the game, which - in our opinion - had its outcome affected by a number of questionable refereeing decisions. One of those particular debatable calls was witnessed in overtime.

We have huge respect for our opponents and the host organisation. Therefore, we remained on the ice to participate in the ceremony and shake the hands of our opponents.

We're confident that our national teams will participate in subsequent exciting matches which will consequently assist the development of ice hockey in the two counties."

Yegor Surin, Vadim Dudorov, Pyotr Andreyanov.

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