Kazakhstan is interested in staging the 2027 IIHF World Championship ©Getty Images

Kazakhstan has declared its interest in staging the men's International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championship for the first time in 2027.

IIHF President Luc Tardif recently travelled to Kazakhstan's capital Nur-Sultan to meet the country's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

Tokayev declared Kazakhstan's interest in hosting the 2027 World Championship during the meeting with Tardif, and stressed that this would be the IIHF's first top-tier event in the Asian region.

Tardif acknowledged that Kazakhstan has the infrastructure to stage top-tier tournaments, according to the President of Kazakhstan's press office.

Kazakhstan's ice hockey achievements and the development of the sport in the country were also discussed by the two leaders, with Tokayev referencing an increase in its popularity among young people.

He also claimed that more than 14,000 people are involved with ice hockey in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan's men's national team returned to the top division of the IIHF World Championship in 2019, when it jointly held the Division One tournament at the Barys Arena in Nur-Sultan with Estonia's capital Tallinn.

IIHF President Luc Tardif travelled to Kazakhstan and met with the country's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ©Getty Images
IIHF President Luc Tardif travelled to Kazakhstan and met with the country's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ©Getty Images

At this year's World Championship, Kazakhstan staved off the threat of relegation by ranking 14th out of 16 teams overall.

Kazakhstan held the 2011 Asian Winter Games, with the host nation winning gold in men's and women's ice hockey in Astana and Almaty respectively.

The country also bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Almaty, but narrowly lost out to the Chinese capital Beijing.

Unrest hit Kazakhstan in January of this year with demonstrations sparked by the doubling of fuel prices, leading to violent clashes across the country.

More than 200 people were killed in the protests, with Kazakh authorities accused of excessive force, and Human Rights Watch alleging that it failed to sufficiently investigate the deaths of victims.

Accusations of beatings and torture were denied by authorities, and Tokayev claimed that the unrest amounted to an attempted coup d'état.

The IIHF has awarded hosting rights for its next four men's World Championships up until 2026, all of which are due to be held in Europe.