PRAGUE, Czech Republic — NHL groups enjoying within the Czech capital subsequent month have been informed their Russian gamers usually are not welcome.

The Czech International Ministry has informed the NHL of its stance due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The ministry declined to say whether or not the NHL has replied.

The Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks are to play common season video games on Oct. 7 and eight at Prague’s O2 Enviornment. The journey rosters haven’t been finalized however Nashville has ahead Yakov Trenin and San Jose has ahead Evgeny Svechnikov. Defenseman Nikolai Knyzhov will not be obtainable for the Sharks on account of an harm.

“We are able to verify that the Czech International Ministry has despatched a letter to the NHL to level out that, at this second, the Czech Republic or another state within the (visa free) Schengen zone shouldn’t problem visas to the Russian gamers to enter our territory,” Deputy International Minister Martin Smolek mentioned in a press release.

The ministry added it knowledgeable the league “about ongoing negotiations about banning entry for these residents of the Russian Federation who already had obtained legitimate visas earlier than.”

The ministry mentioned a ban on Russian athletes in sports activities occasions in European Union nations was additionally beneficial by EU sports activities ministers.

The Czech Republic was one of many first EU nations to cease issuing visas to Russian nationals following the February invasion of Ukraine. Exceptions embody humanitarian instances and other people persecuted by Russia President Vladimir Putin’s regime.

The NHL is coming again to Europe for its first video games outdoors of North America because the begin of the pandemic.

Moreover the 2 video games in Prague, the Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets will play one other two in Tampere, Finland, on Nov. 4-5. The Finnish authorities’s place on Russian gamers was not instantly clear.

Czech NHL nice Dominik Hasek has led the opposition to Russian gamers coming to Prague because the video games have been introduced in April. Hasek approached the the higher home of Parliament, the Senate, the federal government and the International Ministry concerning the problem.

“It is essential for the help of our Ukrainian ally and security of our residents,” Hasek mentioned in an interview for a Russian broadcaster. After it was not aired in Russia, he revealed it in Czech media.

“Sure, we do not need any promotion of the Russian aggression right here,” Hasek posted on Twitter after the ministry’s transfer. “We’re guarding our lives and the lives of our allies within the first place.”

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