The 2020 World Championship tournaments involving GB Women and GB Under-18 Men have been cancelled because of the coronavirus.

GB Under-18s Men were set to take part in the Division II Group A competition in Tallinn, Estonia from 22nd to 28th March.

GB Women were due to play in the Division II Group A tournament in Jaca, Spain from 29th March to 4th April.

The IIHF said on their website that the “IIHF Medical Committee came up with the recommendation to cancel these tournaments during its meeting on Saturday, 1st March in Budapest, Hungary”.

Andy French, general secretary for Ice Hockey UK, said: “Of course, it is very disappointing but it is a totally understandable decision from the IIHF.

“Ice Hockey UK and the coaches of the respective teams are disappointed for the players – and not forgetting the on-ice officials too – who will now not be going to the World Championship tournaments in the next few weeks.

“But the IIHF have our backing 100% and I know it was a very difficult decision for them to make.”

No decision has yet been made on the World Championship in Switzerland in May, with GB set to compete for a second successive season in the top flight.

The tournament “remains on schedule while the IIHF continues to monitor the situation”.

IIHF president, René Fasel, said in an interview: “We are in close contact with the organisers and try to analyse the situation.

“We will wait until 15th March to see how this pandemic develops. After that, we might be able to say more.”

Click here to read the full story on the IIHF website.