Why are the 2023 World Juniors not in Russia? Details on country’s ban from hosting IIHF competition

For the third consecutive tournament, Canada is hosting the 2023 World Juniors. The U20 IIHF event is set to take place in the Maritimes in the cities of Halifax, N.S. and Moncton, N.B.

But Canada was not originally supposed to host the 2023 tournament. In fact, the games were scheduled to be played on the other side of the world in Russia. 

The cities of Novosibirsk and Omsk had been planned as the hosts for the 2023 World Juniors. However, the IIHF elected to take the games out of the country.

MORE: 2023 World Juniors schedule, standings, results

So why is Russia no longer hosting the 2023 World Juniors? The Sporting News has you covered on the details of why the tournament was relocated and why Russia won’t be participating in the competition. 

Why is Russia not hosting the 2023 World Juniors?

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the IIHF Council met in February of 2022 and decided to suspend all Russian and Belarusian national teams from competing at any and all IIHF-sanctioned events. 

“The IIHF is not a political entity and cannot influence the decisions being taken over the war in Ukraine,” IIHF President Luc Tardif said in a statement in February. “We nevertheless have a duty of care to all of our members and participants and must therefore do all we can to ensure that we are able to operate our events in a safe environment for all teams taking part in the IIHF World Championship program.”

In addition, the IIHF elected to relocate the 2023 tournament, which was scheduled to take place in the Russian cities of Novosibirsk and Omsk. 

MORE: Every NHL draft pick at the 2023 World Juniors

Where are the 2023 World Juniors?

  • Location: Halifax N.S./Moncton, N.B.
  • Venue: Scotiabank Centre/Avenir Centre

The World Juniors will be split between two host cities, as the tournament will be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Moncton, New Brunswick.  

The games in Halifax will be played at the Scotiabank Centre, the home of the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads. Any of the contests in Moncton will be played at the Avenir Centre, where the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats call home.

This is the second time Halifax is a host city for the World Juniors. Previously, the 2003 World Juniors were split between Halifax and Sydney, N.S. Moncton has never hosted the World Juniors before.

What cities have hosted the World Juniors in the past?

The 2023 tournament marks the first time since 2020 that the tournament will be split between two cities. In the last two editions of the event, the IIHF was forced to limit the games to just one venue due to COVID-19.

It will be Canada’s third time in a row hosting and the fourth in the last five years.

2023 Halifax/Moncton Canada
2022 Edmonton Canada
2021 Edmonton Canada
2020 Ostrava/Trinec Czech Republic
2019 Vancouver/Victoria Canada
2018 Buffalo, N.Y. United States
2017 Montreal/Toronto Canada
2016 Helsinki Finland
2015 Montreal/Toronto Canada
2014 Malmo Sweden
2013 Ufa Russia
2012 Calgary/Edmonton Canada
2011 Buffalo/Niagara, N.Y. United States
2010 Regina/Saskatoon Canada
2009 Ottawa Canada
2008 Pardubice/Liberec Czech Republic
2007 Leksand/Mora Sweden
2006 Kamloops/Kelowna/Vancouver Canada
2005 Grand Forks, N.D./Thief River Falls, Minn. United States
2004 Helsinki/Hameenlinna Finland
2003 Halifax/Sydney Canada
2002 Pardubice/Hradec Kralove Czech Republic
2001 Moscow/Podolsk Russia
2000 Skelleftea/Umea Sweden
1999 Winnipeg Canada
1998 Helsinki/Hameenlinna Finland
1997 Geneva/Morges Switzerland
1996 Boston, Mass. United States
1995 Red Deer Canada
1994 Ostrava/Frydek-Mistek Czech Republic
1993 Gavle/Fulun Sweden
1992 Fussen/Kaufbeuren Germany
1991 Saskatoon Canada
1990 Helsinki/Turku Finland
1989 Anchorage, Alaska United States
1988 Moscow Soviet Union
1987 Piestany Czechoslovakia
1986 Hamilton Canada
1985 Helsinki/Turku Finland
1984 Nykoping Sweden
1983 Leningrad Soviet Union
1982 Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn. United States
1981 Fussen/Augsburg Germany
1980 Helsinki Finland
1979 Karlstad Sweden
1978 Montreal Canada
1977 Bystrica-Zvolen Czechoslovakia

What cities are hosting the World Juniors in the future?

The IIHF previously announced the host countries all the way until the 2032 tournament, however, the host city is only known for the next tournament. 

Gothenburg, Sweden was initially scheduled to have the 2022 tournament, but due to COVID restrictions, they swapped spots with Canada, taking their place as the hosts for 2024. 

2024 Gothenburg Sweden
2025 TBD United States
2026 TBD Canada
2027 TBD Finland
2028 TBD Czech Republic
2029 TBD Canada
2030 TBD United States
2031 TBD Russia
2032 TBD Canada

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