The IIHF have announced that Latvia will be the sole host for the 2021 World Championship.

The decision was made at a council meeting this afternoon and comes on the back of the IIHF moving the tournament away from Belarus because of safety concerns.

The 16-team tournament – which is set to run from 21st May to 6th June 2021 – will all be held in Riga.

GB are in Group A with matches against Belarus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland. Games will take place at the Olympic Sports Centre.

Group B consists of hosts Latvia, as well as Canada, Finland, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Norway and the USA. Matches will be held in the main venue, Arena Riga.

The tournament will be played under the following conditions…

  • The main venue will be the Arena Riga in Riga and will host Group B, two quarter-final games, the semi-final round and the medal round
  • The second venue will be the Olympic Sports Centre, which will be converted into a 6,000-capacity ice rink and will host Group A and two quarter-final games
  • The Daugava Ice Rink, approximately 10 minutes from Arena Riga, will serve as the practice arena with two ice sheets. The arena is currently under construction and scheduled to be finished by the end of March
  • All 16 participating teams will be housed in one hotel
  • At present time, there are no updates concerning the game schedule

Should the covid-19 situation in Latvia improve to the point that spectators would be allowed to watch games. The IIHF – together with the Local Organising Committee – would be prepared to initiate a ticketing offer within three days’ notice of government approval to host fans in the venues.

The decision comes following a review process by the IIHF office, which also examined hosting offers from Bratislava, Slovakia, and Herning, Denmark.

“I would like to thank our members from Denmark and Slovakia for their willingness to assume hosting duties for the World Championship on such short notice,” said IIHF president René Fasel.

“But ultimately the council believes that keeping the whole tournament in one country allows us to be flexible. We can find cost-effective solutions to implement a bubble concept, but also we can put ourselves in a ready position to welcome fans to the World Championship if it is safe to do so.”

Click here to read more on the IIHF website.

Photo credit: Dean Woolley.