The 2020 IIHF World Hockey Championship was canceled Saturday, the latest international sporting event to be called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The competition was scheduled to take place in May in Zurich and Lausanne, Switzerland.
“This is a harsh reality to face for the international ice hockey family, but one that we must accept,” said Rene Fasel, the IIHF president, in a statement. “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 already had canceled the women’s world championship, which was scheduled to start later this month in Canada. Six other IIHF tournaments have been called off, as well.
The men’s world championship isn’t sanctioned by the NHL, but several of the league’s players take part each year once their teams are out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Other international events to be canceled or postponed include the Masters Tournament, the French Open, Euro 2020 and the Monaco Grand Prix.