I generally believe that sports and politics should be kept as far apart as possible. Now obviously it is not possible to keep them completely apart as every country use the PR brought by sport success to both build an image of successful and magnificent country to show foreigners and to strengthen the nation-building proses (new/relatively new countries) or to raise/keep up the general feeling of nationalism and fellowship (old, established states) among their citizens. This of course has both pros and cons. Nation states need citizens who believe in their fellowship and sports are rather non-violent way of polishing the ever so glorious nation myths. But what if it goes too far, and the "yay, we won" turns into a serious belief of "we're better than others"? And what if the sport is used to showcase an authoritarian state and in a way legitimise the current power?
So what is this about?
In 2009 IIHF granted Belarus the right to hold the 2014 hockey World Championship tournament. The arguments supporting Belarus' case were strong support for hockey among the Belarussian, excellent buildings (Minsk-Arena as an example) for holding the tournament, and it probably didn't hurt that the president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko* is, among other things, known for his love for hockey. This has raised some amount of controversial since it has been said that Belarus isn't the right place to held international tournaments and for example an Ukrainian group FEMEN protested against it in Switzerland, near the headquarters of IIHF.