Video: 100TV feature on the Gazprom Neft Cup

16 April 2014, 15:25 (msc)

A few days before the start of the 8th Gazprom Neft Cup the St. Petersburg TV channel 100TV ran a feature about the upcoming Tournament.

TEXT OF THE FEATURE:

The end of April has much in store for Russian ice hockey. As well as the Gagarin Cup playoffs, fans can look forward to the Gazprom Neft Cup — a trophy competition for the country’s best young players (aged 10 years). This year the official KHL kids tournament will be held for the first time in two cities. The Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the Gazprom Neft Cup, Alexander Dybal, told 100TV all about the preparations.

Alexander Dybal, Member of the Executive Board of Gazprom Neft and Chairman of the Gazprom Neft Cup Organizing Committee

Since obtaining the status of KHL official tournament, we have set objectives and targeted expansion of the Tournament. This year’s Tournament comprises 24 teams and there are more than 24 teams in the KHL, so there’s still room for expansion. We expect to grow in the future, so that the number of teams in the Gazprom Neft Cup will equal the number of teams in the KHL.

The 24 teams have been divided into two groups. The East Group will play in Omsk, where the Tournament has always taken place in the past (the Super Final on April 25 will also be held there), and matches in the West Group will take place in Minsk, which will host Tournament matches for the first time. In the Belarus capital, the young hockey players will be using the Chizhovka Arena, which has been specially built for the adult World Championship.

Alexander Dybal, Member of the Executive Board of Gazprom Neft and Chairman of the Gazprom Neft Cup Organizing Committee

We have to organize simultaneous competition events in two cities that are 3000 miles apart. The standard of organisation has to be equally high in both places, with professional referees, a good Tournament opening, TV coverage, etc.

Eight of the child teams will be taking part in the Tournament for the first time, including Dinamo Moscow, Donbass, Barys and even Jokerit from Finland.

Alexander Dybal, Member of the Executive Board of Gazprom Neft and Chairman of the Gazprom Neft Cup Organizing Committee

The Finns are setting their sights high! They asked straight away where the Super Final would be held, because they are planning to win the Tournament! It will be interesting to see how they do.

Experts see the young hockey students from Omsk, Chelyabinsk, Magnitogorsk, Yaroslavl and the current Cup holder, CSKA, as the favourites. But the teams from Tatarstan and Bashkortostan are also strong. SKA Saint Petersburg has not done so well in the Gazprom Neft Cup in the past, but there is a first time for everything, especially when you are only 10 years old!

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