It’s a decision that has been expected for a while and is now official. The IIHF announced that they have cancelled the upcoming Men’s World Hockey Championship that was slated to take place in Switzerland in May due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. IIHF President Rene Fasel released the following statement:
This is a harsh reality to face for the international ice hockey family, but one that we must accept. 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.
The annual tournament featured numerous NHL players whose teams were eliminated from the playoffs early as well as a mixture of the some of the top international talents around the world that haven’t made it to the NHL yet. 16 countries had been slated to participate including Belarus and Kazakhstan who were promoted from Division 1-A following the 2019 event.
It may be a while before Switzerland gets another opportunity to host the tournament as host cities for the Worlds have already been named through 2025.