On Saturday, March 7, the International Ice Hockey Federation announced that the upcoming IIHF Women’s World Ice Hockey Championship set to begin on March 31 from Nova Scotia has been cancelled due to the threat of potential spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The annual two-week tournament to take place in Halifax and Truro will be no more. Much like the 2003 women’s worlds which was cancelled due to the SARS outbreak, 17 years later the 2020 running has also been called off but this time due to the recent coronavirus.
“The International Ice Hockey Federation has diligently monitored the development and risk of the coronavirus, and under the recommendation of the chief medical officer of health of the Province of Nova Scotia and the IIHF, it was determined the best course of action was to cancel the event,” said Hockey Canada Chief Executive Officer Tom Renny in a press release. “This decision was made in the best interest of the players, fans, staff, volunteers and the general public, and we fully support the IIHF’s decision.”
After already cancelling six other IIHF sanctioned tournaments throughout the months of March and April this past week, the decision to cancel this upcoming women’s tournament was made Saturday morning. The decision as to whether the Men’s World Hockey Championship – set for May 8 in Switzerland – will still be played is expected to be determined in April. The 2020 U18 Men’s Championship, which is slated to run April 16-26, may also be cancelled. This decision will be made in the coming week.
As per IIHF rules, the 2021 Women’s World Ice Hockey Championship will now be played in Halifax and Truro, as this year’s event no longer can be played. The hosting community of Nova Scotia has prepared for this event for months, but will now need to wait a year to see their preparations come into fruition. Manitobans Jocelyne Larocque and Brigitte Laquette would have been representatives at this year’s event.