In an interview with Russian outlet ”RSport” KHL president Alexei Morozov has cleared the air stating that league has plan B if the Covid-19 pandemic would cause issues for non-Russian teams to host games in their countries.
It has been long overdue for KHL to release their schedule but we will have to wait some more. According to the executive, the release is now planned at some point in early August. The start of the season is still planned on September 2nd.
This season KHL will include five clubs that aren’t based in Russia. Dinamo Riga, Jokerit Helsinki, Dinamo Minsk, Barys Nur-Sultan, Kunlun Red Star. At this point, it’s clear that Kunlun will play their home games in Mistichi.
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The situation with borders is still unclear. What are you gonna do about import clubs and the borders?
”We’re communicating with all the teams. In regards to Minsk and Riga, we are waiting for them to sign their players and go through all the procedures. Only then we will know how many import players will be playing for these teams. We have a plan A and plan B. Right now it looks like everything is stabilizing and we will be able to play as we have planned.”
Do you believe that the borders will be open and teams will be able to play in their home arenas?
”I believe and hope that in September we’ll be playing games already. All the games in the rinks that they are supposed to be played in. With all the teams that are supposed to play and with fans in the stands. It’s important for all of us. We miss hockey.”
Does plan B state that all teams would be relocated to Russia?
”We will make the schedule according to the current situation. According to this plan, all teams will begin the season in Russia. If there will be any issues some of the clubs will be allowed to remain in Russia to play games here. There are regions in our country that fit under KHL regulations and would be ready to host some of the foreign teams. It shouldn’t take long to prepare the rinks for official games.”
What is the situation with Covid-19? How many players have tested positive?
”Currently to the date we have 38 players that have tested positive. We also have team staff members have tested positive. Some cases have been very severe and people have been hospitalized. There are people that feel very ill but they are all getting better and there are no worries about players not being able to continue their careers or having any threat to their life.”