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Belarus to host 2014 IIHF World Hockey Championships

BERN, Switzerland - Belarus will host the IIHF World Hockey Championship in 2014.

The former Soviet Union republic won an election of International Ice Hockey Federation members at their annual Congress on Friday with 75 votes. Hungary had 24, while Latvia and Ukraine each received three. Belarus, which lost 4-3 to Russia in the quarter-finals on Thursday, plans to build two new venues to stage the event.

The 15,000-seat Minsk Arena is scheduled for completion in December and will be used by Dynamo Minsk in Russia's Continental Hockey League. Work to build an 8,000-seat stadium in the capital city will start in July and take 18 months.

The IIHF also announced that Finland and Sweden will co-host the 2012 and 2013 championships.

Finland had been scheduled to host alone in 2012 but will share the group matches and quarter-finals before Helsinki stages the semifinals and final.

Sweden had been awarded the 2013 championship and will share the early stages before hosting the medal-round matches, likely to be in Stockholm.

The IIHF accepted Kuwait and Georgia as associate members, taking the total number of national federations to 68.

It also agreed that the 12 countries playing in the men's tournament at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver must name their rosters by Dec. 31.

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