Russian peewee hockey teams banned from Quebec City tournament
Organizers of international tournament say Russian players, coaches are disruptive, disrepectful
Russian peewee hockey teams have been banned from a major international tournament in Quebec City next month.
Organizers said they've had problems with Russian players and coaches being disruptive and disrespectful towards tournament volunteers.
Patrick Dom, the tournament's general manager, said that last year coaches also appeared to stack a team. A team with higher caliber players enrolled in a lower division.
"In the video that we saw prior to the tournament, to make sure we placed them in the right division, it was not the same kids. So the kids that showed up here were not the same on the video and the team was much much stronger than what we saw. So … they won each game by 6 or 7 goals," Dom said.
He also accused the team of being unsportsmanlike because coaches kept weaker players on the bench, even when the team had a commanding lead.
Dom said this is not the first time the Russians are banned from the international tournament, adding that they were not allowed to take part in 2007 for similar reasons.
Dom said he does not know how long the ban against the Russian peewee hockey team will last.
"We've been repeating the same things and nothing has changed," said Dom. "It's up to them now to understand why, and we hope they will understand. They need a period of reflection...It's unfortunate because we would like for them to be there, but not at any cost."
Record registration numbers
The Quebec International Peewee Hockey Tournament has 300 registration requests for 2016. That's up 20 per cent from last year.
"The largest number is from Quebec. There are requests from Canada, the United States, from everywhere. It's sad because it's 20 per cent of the teams that we have to turn down because we can't accept anymore teams."
The tournament runs from Feb. 10 until Feb. 21 at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City.