Latvian hockey on the rise?
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09-14-2012, 07:21 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Originally Posted by
With hockey going forward in so many countries,
why is it uncool in Ukraine
? I could understand if it was the cost of equipment. Is it because it's somehow connected psychologically to the communist era - "outdated granny-game"? Or maybe because as Ukrainians hockey feel to "Russian" and they want to choose a sport that defines more a new Ukrainian nationalism?!
In Denmark we have struggled for years (actually in the press that really first changed in the late 90's where Denmark started to win matches) against the general perception that hockey was a sport for undisciplined lower class hooligans (both with fighting among players and spectators). Has hockey that kind of bad reputation in Ukraine?
Not really. Yes, in the nineties and early 00's hockey got too expensive and a lot of traditional hockey hotbeds dried up, so it has led to the point that your average-to-decent Ukrainian player chose to rather play in Romania than in Ukraine. Thus the local league competition was basically amateur and it got no press attention or sponsorship money. Basically poor teams played in tired arenas with tiny crowds. Even the countries flagship team has been on the verge of bankrupcy for years.
This year Ukraine's NT managed for the first time in their history get relegated to third division and again a new low was set. U18 and U20 teams are third tier teams for a while when in the early nineties all Ukrainian teams played in Elite tiers.
All this in more detail is covered in Ukrainian hockey threads on this board so I won't repeat myself again, but the tide slowly is changing (largely thanks to Donetsk), but in reality it will take years for Ukraine to catch up with the teams they once were equal or even better - I mean teams like Latvia, Denmark or even France and Slovenia.
btw, the only place in the world hockey is viewed as commie/Russian sport is Estonia.
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