On Tuesday afternoon, the Council of the international ice hockey association IIHF held a conference on the World Cup 2020 in Switzerland, which should have taken place in Zurich and Lausanne from May 8th. It was already clear beforehand that outgoing IIHF boss René Fasel, his three vice presidents and the nine other council members had little scope due to the coronavirus crisis.
The question was actually not primarily whether, but when the plug is pulled. The crucial point here: At what point are the insurance companies liable. On the other hand, every day you wait for it creates additional costs.
The insurance issue – the IIHF alone insured the amount of CHF 22 million – may have prevented the World Cup from being canceled on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, we cannot make a definitive decision regarding the World Cup 2020 at this time,” said President Fasel after the conference call.
Discussions with the insurance representatives and the Swiss government continued. And now the World Cup 2020 could definitely be canceled.
Switzerland has been waiting for the World Cup for 11 years
From a Swiss point of view, the main question is whether the World Cup will be canceled or rescheduled and whether Zurich and Lausanne will simply come next year.
The problem: The World Cup has already been awarded to organizers for the coming years: 2021 in Latvia (Riga) and Belarus (Minsk), 2022 in Finland (Helsinki and Tampere), 2023 in Russia (St. Petersburg), 2024 in the Czech Republic and 2025 in Sweden and Denmark.
Sweden and Denmark as an obstacle
The two northerners would not be able to catch the train until 2026. And because this is an Olympic year, they classify this World Cup as less attractive and obviously face it.
“The possible scenario of postponing the World Cup in Switzerland to another year” must be discussed at an IIHF congress, writes the world association. The policy regarding possible ticket refunds will be clarified as soon as possible.
Gilli. “A huge disappointment for the OK”
“The corona virus is a global problem and the authorities have to make great efforts to combat the spread,” says Fasel. “The IIHF must do everything possible to support this struggle.”
And WM-OK boss Gian Gilli says: «We have to accept the decision of the IIHF Council. But of course it’s a huge disappointment for the OK. It is an exceptional situation for everyone concerned and the point now is to solve the open questions. »
Switzerland last held the World Cup in 2009 (Bern and Kloten) and 1998 (Zurich and Bern).
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