The Olympic ice hockey tournament in Beijing is to take place as planned after a meeting of the World Federation IIHF.
“The organization of this event is going according to plan,” said the IIHF after a conference of the executive body, which was also attended by representatives of the European leagues and national federations. In the past few days and weeks, there had been concerns about the Olympic tournament in view of the increasing number of corona infections worldwide with the omicron variant.
As more and more games had been canceled in a number of leagues due to various outbreaks and, among other things, the U20 World Cup had to be canceled, there were calls to remove the team sport from the program at the Winter Games in February.
According to the President of the German Ice Hockey Federation, Franz Reindl, these doubts could be dispelled for the time being. “The measures presented and planned by the IOC and the IIHF were convincing. Everyone is behind them,” said Reindl, who also sits on the Executive Committee of the IIHF, the German Press Agency after the meeting. Attempts are also being made to make the stay in China under Corona conditions as pleasant as possible for the players.
Ice Hockey Federation in contact with IOC
According to its own information, the IIHF is “in constant contact with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Beijing Organizing Committee in order to optimize the conditions for the participants”.
The new IIHF President Luc Tardif also announced that he would do “everything” to have the NHL players back at the 2026 Winter Games in Cortina d’Ampezzo. The North American professional league had withdrawn its commitment to interrupt the season for the Olympics this year due to the Corona situation.