FIHG cancels Women’s Under-18 World Championship once again

The International Ice Hockey Federation announced on Friday that tournaments slated to begin in January have been canceled due to concerns over COVID-19, including the World Women’s Under-18 Championship.

The World Women’s Under-18 Championship was scheduled to take place January 8-15 in Linkoping and Mjolby, Sweden. The tournament is canceled for a second consecutive year, while earlier in 2021, the pandemic had hampered the holding of the event in these same Swedish cities.

The FIHG mentioned in a press release that the decision to cancel the tournaments for the month of January was taken on the recommendation of the organization’s medical committee, due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

The Group A, Group B and Second Division women’s under-18 tournaments were also canceled, as were the Group B and Second Division men’s under-20 tournaments.

The FIHG claimed that it was impossible to postpone the Women’s World Under-18 Championship “due to entries in the Swedish leagues”.

The last World Women’s Under-18 Championship was held in Bratislava, Slovakia, in 2020. The United States defeated Canada in the final.

“These are hard facts to face and like last year we have to make the difficult decision to cancel the FIHG men’s and women’s events, including the World Women’s Under-18 Championship for a second year in a row. », Explained the president of the FIHG, Luc Tardif, in a press release.

“The World Women’s Under-18 Championship is an important part of solidifying and building girls’ and women’s hockey, but we have great respect and understanding for the decision based on the pandemic situation in the world,” he added.

Hockey Canada’s Director of Women’s National Teams, Gina Kingsbury, reacted to the FIHG’s decision.

“Our staff and athletes are extremely disappointed to learn that the World Women’s Under-18 Championship has been canceled for the second year in a row. Our entire team had put all the necessary efforts on and off the ice to ensure their preparation for the tournament next month. We even canceled our selection camp to be safe and ensure that our players and staff could represent Canada on the world stage, ”said Kingsbury.

“We understand the volatility of the current environment and the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. We also know that the decision to cancel an event is never taken lightly. We are grateful for the time and work invested in trying to move forward with the event in a safe manner for all. We will now look to the next opportunity to see our athletes represent Canada and play for gold in the near future, ”she concluded.

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