Following Saturday’s announcement of the cancellation of the 2020 IIHF World Championship, IIHF President René Fasel wrote to the IIHF’s Member National Associations addressing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the international hockey season.
Dear ice hockey family,
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the IIHF Council, in accordance with the IIHF’s insurance partner, determined that the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship would be cancelled, effectively ending the 2019-2020 IIHF season. The decision has also been taken to postpone the IIHF Annual Congress until further notice.
This is a harsh reality for us to face. The coronavirus epidemic has severely disrupted the international ice hockey season, causing loss of revenue for tournament organizers and eliminating the opportunity for players to compete and represent their country internationally. The pandemic has also forced leagues to pause and/or cancel their seasons outright.
The IIHF cancellations have been felt at almost all levels, with dozens of tournaments in the men’s women’s, and men’s Under-18 level, along with all of our Challenge Cup of Asia tournaments.
The IIHF is extremely grateful to its membership for its support and understanding throughout this difficult time. I would like to thank the IIHF Office for keeping close communication with all tournament organizers and participating teams. It is important that we always talk to each other and keep our communication lines open. The IIHF remains always at your service to offer any advice and support to those who need it.
In the coming weeks, the IIHF Council will communicate and discuss using all available means to evaluate the organizational and sportive implications of the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship and other tournament cancellations, and also to determine the feasibility of holding an Annual Congress in Zurich at a later date. We will try our best to help ensure that those whose tournaments were canceled will have another opportunity to host in 2021. But most likely this will not be possible for all tournaments.
The IIHF Competition & Coordination Committee is in the process of evaluating the sportive implications of all the cancelled IIHF World Championship tournaments, and the effect this will have on the tournament seeding, the IIHF World Ranking, and the Beijing 2022 Women’s Olympic Qualification tournaments.
Ultimately, all of these decisions will need to be taken at the IIHF Annual Congress, which as mentioned is postponed until further notice. The IIHF Council will continue to monitor the coronavirus pandemic, and hope to be able to reschedule the Annual Congress at a later date.
To our ice hockey family, I wish good health to you and your loved ones. We will continue to work together to support each other through this difficult period and come back stronger and more united than ever.
René Fasel, IIHF President