Belarusian white-red-white flag officially banned at ice hockey world championship in Sweden
Tony Wirehn, Secretary General of 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Stockholm has commented to Radio Svaboda on the decision to ban white-red-white flags during the tournament matches:
"Under the rules of International Ice Hockey Federation, we cannot allow any political symbols, signs or anything like that in the areas where matches are played. Therefore, we have asked to remove those flags".
The decision to recognize the white-red-white flag as "a political symbol" was taken jointly by International Ice Hockey Federation and the championship organizers in Sweden. However, Tony Wirehn declined to elaborate on who initiated this move.
The incident with Team Belarus fans occurred on May 3 during the ice hockey match between Belarus and Czech Republic, when the Swedish police attempted to seize a white-red-white flag from Belarus fans.