Tashkent-based hockey club Binokor may enter the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) within the next two seasons, a source said. Currently, the League comprises 27 clubs based in seven countries - Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Latvia, China, Finland and Slovakia.
Earlier it was announced that three clubs will leave the league in the end of the 2017/18 season. According to the chairman of the KHL Board of Directors, Gennady Timchenko, the league will "get rid of below standard clubs and attract high-quality clubs, perhaps from Europe."
According to the source, Tashkent-based Binokor may join the league either in the next season, or in the season-2019/20. As reported earlier, the construction of the 12-thousand capacity Khumo Arena ice complex commenced late January in the capital of Uzbekistan, due to be completed in autumn 2018.
Whether and when the club will enter the league depends on the date of commissioning of the ice palace. ERIELL, a drilling and service company and an acting partners of the KHL, could reportedly sponsor the team.
During a presentation of Khumo Arena held at the Congress of the International Hockey Federation (IIHF), Uzbek officials requested holding the palace inauguration hockey tournament under the auspices of IIHF next year According to the source, substantive negotiations between the Uzbek side and the KHL will begin when the exact date of completion of Khumo Arena becomes known.