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Belarus Bidding To Host World Ice Hockey Championships

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka with his son Mikola at a hockey match in December
MINSK -- A delegation from the International Ice Hockey Federation has visited Belarus to evaluate it as a possible host of the 2014 world ice hockey championships.

Delegation head Ernest Aljancic said that during his two-day trip he will travel around Belarus to look at potential cities that could host the championships in five years, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Belarus's main challengers in seeking the bid to stage the championships are the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, and Ukraine.

Aljancic praised Belarusian cities for their hard work and achievements in hosting other international competitions.

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, a big fan and avid player of ice hockey, has had many ice rinks built in Belarus.

Belarus is in the world's top group of 16 ice hockey-playing countries.