Ice hockey-KHL match between Finns Jokerit and Dinamo Minsk cancelled amid fan protests

HELSINKI, Sept 3- The Kontinental Hockey League match between Finnish club Jokerit and Belarusian side Dinamo Minsk scheduled for Thursday has been cancelled, the league said amid fan protests in Finland due to the political situation in Belarus. The decision came on the day Jokerit were supposed to travel, following widespread criticism in Finland against…

HELSINKI, Sept 3 (Reuters) – The Kontinental Hockey League match between Finnish club Jokerit and Belarusian side Dinamo Minsk scheduled for Thursday has been cancelled, the league said amid fan protests in Finland due to the political situation in Belarus.

“The League will inform about the reasons later,” KHL said on their website.

Sources told Finnish news agency STT the Finnish team’s flight to Minsk had been cancelled and that the team would not be playing.

The decision came on the day Jokerit were supposed to travel, following widespread criticism in Finland against the team’s attendance amid continued protests in Belarus over the results of August’s presidential election.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko is facing the biggest challenge of his 26-year rule after claiming victory in the election, which opponents say was rigged. He denies electoral fraud and shows no sign of backing down.

Jokerit were not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters.

The team’s own fanclub threatened on Wednesday to boycott their matches if they travelled to Belarus.

(Reporting by Anne Kauranen; Additional reporting by Gabrielle Tetrault-Farber in Moscow Editing by Toby Davis)

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