Belarus IIHF team ‘degraded’ by French officials’ searches

The 2017 IIHF world championships are being held in France and Germany, and apparently the French are extending their usual warm, welcoming courtesy by “degrading” the team from Belarus with a thorough search.

According to RFI, the players and staff arrived at Montparnasse station in Paris from Bordeaux. Upon arrival, they were searched by French officials, and had their bag searched as well.

The Belarus government called the actions “degrading to human dignity” and summoned France’s ambassador to complain.

(Now, why would anyone want to search Andrei Kostitsyn’s bag…)

Said Belarusian hockey federation spokesperson Yevgeniya Nikitina, via the AFP:

“We understand the need to ensure a high level of security for all the participants of the world championship and Paris itself. But we would nonetheless like for members of official sports delegations to be either exempted from these procedures or warned in advance or for there to be equal conditions for all the teams, because for now we are only aware of the case in respect to the Belarusian delegation.”

Luc Tardif, the president of the French hockey federation, said in response:

“We understand that they did not like their equipment being searched publicly. Thismade them a little grumpy. The delegation will be pampered. The searches will become a bad memory.”

A little grumpy!

As Nikitina noted, Paris has had significant security concerns, and its police force has been authorized to conduct searches at train stations.

Belarus opened against Finland on Friday.

s/t Kukla

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.


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