Czech carmaker Skoda has warned that it’s going to withdraw its sponsorship of the ice hockey world championship if Belarus stays as co-host amid calls to transfer the occasion following mass protests towards authoritarian chief Alexander Lukashenko.
Skoda, which belongs to Germany’s Volkswagen Group, stated Saturday on Twitter that it has been “a proud associate” to the annual match for 28 years however “we additionally respect and promote all human rights.”
We’ve been a proud associate to the <a href=”https://twitter.com/IIHFHockey?ref_src=twsrcpercent5Etfw”>@IIHFHockey</a> World Championship for 28 years. But we additionally respect & promote all human rights. Therefore, <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/SKODA?src=hash&ref_src=twsrcpercent5Etfw”>#SKODA</a> will withdraw from sponsoring the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship if <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Belarus?src=hash&ref_src=twsrcpercent5Etfw”>#Belarus</a> is confirmed to be co-hosting the occasion. <a href=”https://t.co/fC3ZMbY2cG”>pic.twitter.com/fC3ZMbY2cG</a>
“Therefore, SKODA will withdraw from sponsoring the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship if Belarus is confirmed to be co-hosting the occasion,” the carmaker stated.
The worlds are scheduled to be co-hosted by Belarus and Latvia beginning in May. Latvia and different international locations have urged the International Ice Hockey Federation to discover a completely different co-host due to Belarus’ crackdown on opposition teams.
Hugs and smiles right now between Belarus president Lukashenko and ice hockey federation’s Fasel, long-time Olympic associates, forward of talks about Belarus staying on as co-host of the men’s worlds in May. <a href=”https://t.co/4CZ2M4Q98g”>https://t.co/4CZ2M4Q98g</a>
Mass protests swept Belarus, a former Soviet nation of 9.5 million individuals, after official outcomes from the presidential election on Aug. 9 gave Lukashenko a landslide victory over his broadly widespread opponent, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. She and her supporters refused to acknowledge the consequence, saying the vote was fraudulent.
Authorities have cracked down exhausting on the largely peaceable demonstrations.
IIHF president Rene Fasel stated he remained dedicated to holding the worlds in Belarus after assembly Lukashenko earlier this week in Minsk.