Putin misses favourite hockey match for only second time in history amid growing health rumours

Image of Vladimir Putin. Credit: Russian Government

RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin had to miss the gala match at the Night Hockey League National Festival, which he once referred to as giving him a “better quality and deeper meaning of life”.

Rumours about his deteriorating health continue to mount against Vladimir Putin after he was forced to miss his beloved Russian hockey match and instead issued a video message to participants.

Despite allegedly being in the same city, Putin did not play in the game held in Sochi at the Bolshoi Sports Palace, with Russian media revealing that although the reason for his absence was unknown, his health problems have been under scrutiny.

As noted by theins.ru, the president had only missed the gala match once since it began in 2012. They said that the only time had previously missed the game was in 2013 when ‘it became known that he had health problems’ relating to ‘seriously injuring himself during a fall from a horse’ that left him ‘unable to stand on his feet’.

Since then, frequent rumours about the 69-year-old’s health have circulated on social media since the start of his country’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Most recently, during the victory parade in Moscow on May 9, Vladimir Putin was spotted keeping warm with a heavy blanket and was also witnessed coughing heavily, though this was not apparent during his speech.

Back in April, a Russian NGO, Project Media, released a lengthy report on President Vladimir Putin’s health that charted everything from his disappearances since he came into power to the release of pre-recorded footage of him holding meetings and reports of phone calls.

The report showed that Putin has increasingly been surrounded by doctors with up to 13 at a time appearing at his residence in Sochi or at the Kremlin.

And the report said that while he was known to have back problems following the horse fall, the number of doctors consulted in their investigations suggested something quite different.

Prior to that, on March 10, the Kremlin were forced to distribute several images of Vladimir Putin showing him in a meeting with his prime minister, and the rest of his leadership – supposedly ending rumours that he could be ill or hiding in a luxurious bunker.

Speaking on May 10 ahead of the final stage of the 11th Night Hockey League National Festival, President Putin told players, coaches and fans: “Russia sincerely loves this wonderful sport. It is only natural that the Night Hockey League has won broad recognition throughout the country and has brought thousands of ice hockey players together from most of the regions in our country.

“This tournament is unparalleled because it attracts ice hockey fans of different generations: renowned masters, sport old-timers and rookies who decided to set up their own teams to win and to test their spirit.

“Getting to the top and winning the trophy for the season is an objective worth pursuing such ambitious, energetic and strong-willed people. So, the final stage of the traditional Night Hockey League National Festival in Sochi invariably attracts fans with its compelling and uncompromising matches, highlights and unforgettable emotions.

“I believe the League will continue to attract more players, introduce the values of fitness and a healthy lifestyle to people of different ages and occupations, and contribute to ice hockey popularity, all while reminding people of its history and our legendary champions’ achievements who personally contributed to the promotion of sport in our country.”

In 2021, Putin’s team won with a score of 13:9. Putin scored eight goals, the first – in the 29th second from the transfer of Pavel Bure. The president also chalked up one assist.


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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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