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Fans called on Jokerit to leave the KHL, but the club remains in the league

Russia (, - Echoes of the tense political situation in the world have reached the Kontinental Hockey League. The focus was, of course, the Finnish "Jokerit".

Following the news of Russia's recognition of the DPR and LPR, Joker fans issued a statement demanding the club leave the Continental Hockey League: "We appeal to you as decision makers: protect the club by removing the club emblem from the KHL. Continued games will cause incalculable damage to the reputation of the entire club, which may never be restored."

Let's be frank: no one would be surprised if the management of Jokerit went on about the fans. From the very moment of joining the KHL (season 2014/2015), the “jokers” have kept themselves apart in the league. This has been most evident in recent years. For example, during a pandemic, Jokerit could arbitrarily go into quarantine, spitting on all the difficulties that the KHL already faced when compiling the calendar. In addition, the club has already succumbed to the pressure of the fans when, for political reasons, it refused to fly to Belarus for the match against Dynamo Minsk.

But this time there was no demarche. "The club has obligations under the agreement with the KHL and must comply with them. The team is also responsible to the employees as an employer. The situation is difficult, but we do not believe that Jokerit is the competent party to voice its view of what is happening. We are currently carefully "we are monitoring the situation and are in active dialogue with stakeholders. We will also closely monitor any decisions regarding sanctions and will uncompromisingly comply with them in our activities," the club said in a statement.

The conclusion suggests itself as follows: “Jokerit” is unprofitable to leave the Continental Hockey League. And there are various reasons for this.

Firstly, with all due respect to the Finnish Hockey League "SM League", the KHL is a completely different level. The Olympics that ended the other day confirmed this once again. As part of the gold medalists, the Finns, 18 hockey players represented the clubs of the Continental Hockey League, five of them - Jokerit, including the captain of the Suomi team Marco Antilla.

Someone may point out that half of the club's shares are owned by Russian businessmen. But that was until 2019, when Finnish hockey legend Jari Kurri bought 100 percent of Jokerit's shares. So nothing prevented the KHL from leaving the club for a long time. Another thing is that Hartwall Arena, the hockey mecca of Helsinki, is still Russian owners. Apparently, they are not ready to part with the prayerful arena in Jokerit. Here we are talking about commitments.

We add that on March 1, the Finns will start in the KHL playoffs. Rival “Jokerit” will be the Moscow “Spartak”.

Fans called on Jokerit to leave the KHL, but the club remains in the league