Finland hosted the Championships as recently as 2013 ©Getty Images

Finland will challenge a joint bid from Belarus and Latvia for the right to stage the 2021 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Men’s World Championshi.

The IIHF have confirmed the two applications, with Finland putting forward the city of Tampere as their location for the flagship tournament.

Belarus and Latvia have proposed their respective capital cities of Minsk and Riga as joint hosts of the event.

Both bids have earmarked May 7 to 23 as the dates of the 2021 Championship.

A decision is due to be made at the IIHF Annual Congress, scheduled to take place on May 18 until 20 in Cologne during this year’s edition of the Championships in France and Germany.

Should Finland succeed, it would be the eighth time the country has played host to the Championships.

Its capital Helsinki co-hosted the event with Stockholm in Sweden in 2013, having also done so the year before.

It is claimed holding the Championships in Tampere would make the event more accessible to people in Finland, with the city located in the centre of the country.

The new 13,000-seat Tampere Arena would be the main venue for the competition, with the modern multipurpose facility set to open in 2020.

The Minsk Arena held the 2014 Championships and is the main venue for the joint Belarus and Latvia bid ©Getty Images
The Minsk Arena held the 2014 Championships and is the main venue for the joint Belarus and Latvia bid ©Getty Images

Tampere has previously hosted the Championships in 1982, 1991, 1997 and 2003.

Finland has already been awarded the 2019 Women's World Championships.

IIHF President René Fasel claimed last May that Finland "stand a good chance" of being awarded the 2021 event.

Both Belarus and Latvia will be hoping to stage the tournament for the second time.

Fasel claimed that Belarus "did so well with the tournament in 2014 that there is a very good chance at some point in the future the World Championships will return there".

The 14,994-seat Minsk Arena would be the main venue for the Championships, while the 10,300-seat Arena Riga would also be used.

Both venues were opened to stage previous editions of the competition, with Riga hosting in 2006 and Minsk staging the 2014 event.

Latvia and Belarus both held Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic men’s ice hockey qualifiers last year.

The next four editions of the Men's World Championships have already been awarded.

Paris and Cologne will co-host the Franco-German edition this year, while Denmark, Slovakia and Switzerland will then have hosting rights in 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively.