- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 17, 2013

MINSK, BELARUS (AP) - Belarus’ president has ordered the organizers of the 2014 ice hockey world championship in the ex-Soviet nation to insure against losses in case of a possible boycott.

Alexander Lukashenko’s decree, which was released Tuesday by his office, instructs the organizers to sign a contract with insurers to cover “possible losses in case of a cancellation, a boycott, or a change in dates of the championship.”

Lukashenko’s move has followed repeated calls for the International Ice Hockey Federation, which is based in Zurich, Switzerland, to move the championships elsewhere because of the Belarusian government’s crackdown on dissent.

The 59-year-old Belarusian leader is an avid hockey player. He has criticized calls for boycott of the championship.