IIHF cancels world championship scheduled for May in Switzerland

The Canadian Press

The International Ice Hockey Federation announced Saturday it was cancelling the 2020 world championship due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

This year's tournament was scheduled to take place in Zurich and Lausanne, Switzerland from May 8-24.

The annual event routinely features NHL players from teams not competing in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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"This is a harsh reality to face for the international ice hockey family, but one that we must accept," said IIHF President Rene Fasel in a release posted to the IIHF's website. "The coronavirus is a global problem and requires major efforts by government bodies to combat its spread.

"The IIHF must do all it can to support this fight. We have to set sport aside for now and support both the government bodies and the ice hockey family."

Participating teams were due to arrive in Switzerland in May for the IIHF annual congress. The IIHF said that congress is postponed until further notice.

The IIHF also said there are "obviously no possibilities to relocate the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship to another country."

"The potential scenario of a postponement of the World Championship in Switzerland to another year is a matter that must be discussed within the congress given the fact that the host countries for the forthcoming IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship are fixed until Year 2025," the release said. "Therefore, such a decision will not be forthcoming until congress is next in session."

The organization said it will clarify a refund policy for tickets soon.

 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 21, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version listed the wrong dates for the tournament.

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