April 14, 2022
A young hockey player was refused an operation in Finland because the clinic “no longer serves” Russians, the director of KHL club Salavat Yulaev has said.
“We’ve been working with Finland for many years and perhaps we even pay excessive attention to it…,” said the general director of the Ufa-based club, Rinat Bashirov.
“I can tell you that we planned an operation for a young player from Tolpar [junior team], but they called us and said that Russian citizens were no longer served.
“It doesn’t bode well for us. I can’t say if this is a trend for the whole country, but, based on how it is interpreted to us, this is a political point for us.”
Salavat Yulaev boasted a strong Finnish contingent although four stars – Juha Metsola, Teemu Hartikainen, Markus Granlund and Sakari Manninen – were among the foreigners to quit the team during the Gagarin Cup playoffs because of the conflict in Ukraine.
Finnish head coach Tommy Lamsya is also set to leave his position now that the team’s season is over.
Commenting on the claims that a young player was denied surgery, former Russian star Maxim Sushinsky described it as “racism.”
“You can easily sue. It’s clear that the court won’t be on our side, but this is already called racism. For some reason, in America this is the most dangerous word, but with us it is practiced in any country,” Sushinsky told Championat.
“Why exactly do the Finns act so vilely? The smaller the dog, the more it barks. You look who barks: Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Finland. Whoever gets paid, they bark…
“Here it’s not even sports or politics, but human things, because you can’t refuse treatment to a sick person.”
The KHL saw a spate of foreign departures following the launch of Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine, with Helsinki team Jokerit and Latvia’s Dinamo Riga later confirming they will not take part in the 2022-23 season.