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Ex-Red Wings Hall of Famer Fetisov Seeking to Take IIHF to Court

Former Detroit defenseman Fetisov hinting that Russia may sue IIHF



Slava Fetisov, Detroit Red Wings
Former Red Wings defenseman Slava Fetisov is banned from entering the USA due to his support of Russia's war on Ukraine

Viacheslav Fetisov won back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings in 1996-97 and 1997-98. Prior to his NHL days, he was a winner of two Olympic gold medals and seven IIHF World Championships while a member of the Russian national team during his Hall of Fame playing career.

A member of the famed Russian Five of the Red Wings, if he wanted to, Fetisov couldn’t come to Detroit to see his old team in action. As a member of the Russian State Duma, he is on a list of people banned from travel to the USA due to their support of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Fetisov also can’t see his national team in action. The IIHF has placed a ban on Russian involvement in international tournaments. This is also a result of the country’s attack on Ukraine.

Naturally, Fetisov isn’t supportive of this decision.

“The Russian team is always the draw of the World Cup,” Fetisov told Russian TV program RBC Sport. “It is outrageous that the team with the most victories is missing from international tournaments.”

Fetisov Calling For Separation Of Politics And Sport

Fetisov previously served as head of the Russian Sport Federation. He is of the belief that any world hockey tourney minus the Russian national team is a decision on par with leaving the USA out of Olympic basketball, or Brazil and Germany out of soccer’s World Cup. It’s a move that lessens the caliber of the event.

He’s also of the opinion that allowing the political climate to influence the sporting world is a backwards philosophy. In the past he notes, sport has often proven to be a vehicle for breaking down cultural and political differences between nations.

“It is a reduction in quality and all the principles on which world sport was built,” Fetisov said. “I think it’s totally on purpose.

“It is necessary to reach a decision on the return of our players to the international stage or to abolish the sport as an international organization and create another, political organization. Then everything will be clear.”

Russians Lost Appeal

An appeal of their ban to the IIHF ethics committe by the Russian Federation was met with rejection. The next step would be to file an appeal with the International Disciplinary Board and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland. However, it should be noted that this was the same organization that wound up banning Russia for two years for doping violations. Just as that ban was ending, the Russians were again sanctioned for the invasion of Ukraine


States: Mi


“We must not give up, our appeal must be justified,” Fetisov said. “This question concerns the fate of both young athletes and stars. We have to file lawsuits all the time. I think it’s outrageous.”

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Ken Youmg

You made your bed.


If more Russian citizens would come out against this war especially famous ones the better. Turning a blind eye to what their government is doing is unconscionable, to pretend all is right with world while mad man Putin is raining terror on a sovereign country is unforgivable. So the former and current Russian NHL”ers need to come out publicly against what their government is doing. So separating Sports and Politics no way. Fetisov wants to pretend all is right with the world and continue playing hockey internationally like every thing is normal we’ll forget that. Just one man’s opinion.

John Parham

It’s illegal to come out against the war in Ukraine if your in Russia. You’re not even allowed to call it a war (military operation). They will be throw in jail for many years. The pro war sentiment in Russia is at a fever pitch. Russians are turning in their friends, neighbors, even family members if they hear them speak out against the war.

mark w

Imagine that. A government encouraging its citizens to rat on each other. hmm


Like how the Americans were banned from every major sporting event for their illegal invasion of Iraq.
Oh wait a sec….. nothing happened.

Don’t forget Vladie

He wants his team to be able to compete….nothing wrong with that…your country does things you don’t agree with..shouldn’t stop a hockey match

mark w

Yes exactly. U.S. and Canada were/are involved in conflicts across the world. Our Governments motives are often proven to be much less than pure yet citizens are asked to believe otherwise and even to die for the cause. As for the Russian government brainwashing its citzens and trampling on free speech…Just look at whats going on around you and ask yourselves how its so different here really. We are on the way ourseves if we aren’t already there. I therefore agree that Russian hockey and any Russian sport should be allowed to participate in any world sporting competition. Those atheletes will at least see the world outside of Government propaganda and spread the word. IF there is word to spread.


So, go create a new International Hockey Federation, Slava. One that accepts organizations on a political level. No one is saying that you can’t. Create one and then report back to us about how cheated the Russian Federation is that very few teams have joined, or that your returns are not on par with your beliefs.

The iihf can, and did, hold you accountable, just like you feel that you are holding the Ukraine nation accountable. The only gray area is coming out of the mouths of Russian politicians here, where it is perpetually gray. These are choices. The Russians and the IIHF have both made theirs.

John Parham

While Fetisov isn’t allowed in the U.S. the Ukrainians who have had their limbs blown off by Russia are welcome. They’re here receiving treatment and fitting for artificial limbs. Sounds about right to me.

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