The International Ice Hockey Federation announced that the 2020 World Championships would be cancelled. Organizers made this decision after the increasing outbreak of Covid-19 throughout European Nations, primarily Switzerland. Considering that sixteen nations would’ve competed in Switzerland for this championship, organizers were forced to cancel the May 8th to 24th hockey competition.
The President of IIHF expressed that this has been challenging for decision with everyone involved, but that the protection of globally hockey communities is more important than a championship. Rene Fazel mentioned that it’s the responsibility of government bodies, major corporations, sporting outfits and the respective individual to ensure that Covid-19 doesn’t spread internationally anymore than it already has.
It should be mentioned that this is the 1st time in three decades that the IIHF Championship has been cancelled. The last time would’ve been 1988, which followed after two additional cancellations in 1980 and 84. Rene Fazel noted that something special would be implemented next season to honour the fallen individuals from Covid-19. The President was forced to make these announcements after multiple other hockey venues were terminated throughout Switzerland, which included the 2020 IIHF World Women’s Championship for March 7th. This venue would’ve been held in Nova Scotia for March 7th. An additional site for U18 Players was cancelled in Michigan.
Travelling internationally have become virtually impossible under the conditions of Covid-19. The International Ice Hockey Federation noted that transferring all registered players to Switzerland would be a logistical challenge for organizers. This means that the most significant hockey competition for Canadians and Europeans have been cancelled for a single year. It’s unknown what the financial impact will be with the lost sponsorship contracts, returned tickets and merchandise sales.
The federation confirmed in their announcement that protective measures had been implemented for their employed workers. These individuals are located at home in self-isolation and committing to their jobs in safer conditions. Employees will continue to be paid for their respective workloads through a robust insurance program maintained by IIHF. Organizers expressed that the safety of their staff, supporters and the overall community is more important than providing this tournament to millions.