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World Championship

2020 IIHF World Championship canceled because of coronavirus

Tournament was scheduled to take place in Switzerland from May 8-24

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

The 2020 IIHF World Championship was canceled Saturday because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The tournament was scheduled to take place in Zurich and Lausanne, Switzerland, from May 8-24.

"This is a harsh reality to face for the international ice hockey family, but one that we must accept," IIHF president Rene Fasel said. "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 IIHF said there are no possibilities of relocating the 2020 tournament to another country. Because the locations of the World Championship are set until 2025, the potential scenario of relocating a future World Championship to Switzerland would need to be discussed by the IIHF.

The announcement comes nine days after the NHL announced the 2019-20 season was paused.

Participating teams were scheduled to arrive in Switzerland in May for the IIHF Annual Congress, which has been postponed.

"We accept this decision of the IIHF Council," said Gian Gilli, general secretary for the 2020 World Championship organizing committee. "But of course, this is a huge disappointment. … It is an exceptional situation for all concerned, and it is now a question of resolving all the outstanding issues."

A refund policy for ticket holders will be announced soon.

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