The 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Switzerland is cancelled.
The Ice Hockey World Championship in Zurich and Lausanne, which should have started on 8 May, has been cancelled. This was confirmed and announced today by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). The tournament cannot take place due to the spread of the coronavirus.
The cancellation of the A World Championship in Switzerland is a harsh reality for the international ice hockey family, but one that must be accepted, says IIHF President René Fasel: "The coronavirus is a global problem and the IIHF must do everything possible to support the authorities in their fight against the spread of the virus. Sport is currently of secondary importance." Gian Gilli, General Secretary of the Organising Committee 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship says: "We accept this decision of the IIHF Council. Of course it's a huge disappointment for us as an OC. But the situation is extraordinary and it's now a matter of solving the existing problems."
Due to the cancellation of the home World Cup 2020 by the IIHF, all World Cup preparation games of the Swiss National Team in the context of the Euro Hockey Challenge (EHC) are also cancelled. The participating nations had already decided early on not to carry out the EHC if the World Championship could not take place. Swiss Ice Hockey must therefore cancel the planned test matches against Russia (Friday, 17 April in Lausanne and Sunday, 19 April in Zug) and against Italy (Friday, 24 April in Lugano). As the Federal Council had imposed the extraordinary situation throughout Switzerland until 19 April, it was already clear on Monday that it would not have been possible to hold these matches under the current ordinance. In addition, the away test match against Italy in Bolzano on 23 April and both the preparation matches in Riga against Latvia on 30 April and 1 May have also been cancelled. The Swiss National Team' season has thus come to an early end - this after Patrick Fischer's team had been successful in recent months, winning the Germany Cup in November, the home tournament "NaturEnergie Challenge" in December and most recently both Prospect Games against Germany in February.
"It is clear that a professional World Cup preparation and a normal execution of the World Cup is not possible under these circumstances", says Lars Weibel, Director National Teams. Nevertheless, he said it was a great disappointment: "We were all looking forward to this tournament and worked towards it with great motivation. It's a hard blow for players, staff, the whole OC, us as an association and above all, of course, for our great fans. But the situation is exceptional for everyone and the focus is not on sport at the moment, says Lars Weibel: "The health of the Swiss population must be our top priority. I hope that our country will overcome this crisis well and quickly".
Patrick Fischer, Head Coach of the Swiss National Team, assesses the situation in exactly the same way and supports the decision of the IIHF: "It is an exceptional situation that requires exceptional measures and sport is secondary in such times. In the end, the most important thing for all of us is that everyone assumes their responsibility for the health of our population". He calls for solidarity: "I hope that the whole country will stand together now and that we will help each other through this difficult time - just as in the sport of ice hockey, cohesion is more important now than ever." Lars Weibel and Patrick Fischer hope that the A-WM can now take place in Switzerland next year - "and that we can continue to count on the great and valuable support of our great fans in the future."
Ticketinfo international match in Zug
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