Photo: Sporting News
The IIHF announced on Saturday that they have canceled the 2020 World Championships in May due to the coronavirus. They were supposed to take place in Zurich and Laussane.
The 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has been confirmed today by the IIHF Council. Story: https://t.co/N3rr4RucLT pic.twitter.com/uBQ9Uf8PVL
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) March 21, 2020
“This is a harsh reality to face for the international ice hockey family, but one that we must accept,” said IIHF President René Fasel in a statement. “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.”
“We accept this decision of the IIHF Council,” said Gian Gilli, General Secretary for the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Organizing Committee. “But of course, this is a huge disappointment for the Organizing Committee. It is an exceptional situation for all concerned and it is now a question of resolving all the outstanding issues.”
The cancellation of the tournament has an impact on the IIHF Member National Associations that were due to arrive in May for the IIHF Annual Congress.
Both the IIHF and the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Organizing Committee have implemented a robust insurance and risk management program for the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in accordance with the IIHF Statutes and insurance guidelines. Part of these risk management measures included protecting the substantial revenues associated with the event. These revenue protection measures have responded accordingly.
The annual congress meeting, which was slated to take place in Zurich from May 21-23, will be canceled until further notice. They will determine a meeting time later.
The potential scenario of a postponement of the World Championship in Switzerland to another year is a matter that must be discussed by congress given the fact that the host countries for the forthcoming IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship are set in stone through 2025. Therefore, such a decision on that will not be made until Congress gets together next.
Fans who purchased tickets for the IIHF World Championships for this year can get refunds.
By Harrison Brown