Men’s hockey world championships canceled because of coronavirus outbreak

Canada's Dante Fabbro, right, defends against Finland's Juha Lammikko during the 2019 IIHF championship game.
(Martin Rose / Getty Images)

The 2020 men’s world hockey championships have been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Ice Hockey Federation announced Saturday.

The tournament was to have taken place in the Swiss cities of Zurich and Lausanne starting May 8 and running through May 24. The women’s championships, which were to have been held in Canada starting March 31, were canceled two weeks ago.

“This is a harsh reality to face for the international ice hockey family, but one that we must accept,” Rene Fasel, the IIHF’s president, said in a statement released Saturday. “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 statement also said there were “obviously no possibilities to relocate” the event this year.