Fans “gutted” over IIHF cancellation of World Juniors tournament

Dec 29 2021, 11:59 pm

The 2022 World Juniors has been cancelled and fans have a lot of emotions.

The IIHF announced the decision after a third game was forfeited in the span of two days as a result of four announced positive tests.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have always made the health and safety of event participants and the community at large a priority, and given the news that we have encountered positive cases within the World Juniors environment, we understand and support the decision to cancel the remainder of the event,” Tom Renney, chief executive officer, Scott Smith, president and chief operating officer, said in a joint statement.

“Although we know this is the right decision, we sympathize with all participants who have earned the opportunity to represent their countries on the world stage and that will not be able to realize that dream in its entirety.”

Team USA was forced to forfeit its game against Switzerland yesterday after two players tested positive for COVID. Team Czechia forfeited its game against Finland today, while Russia was reportedly set to forfeit its game against Slovakia before the tournament was halted.

As many as five on-ice officials reportedly also tested positive.

Reaction quickly turned to sympathy for the players, some of whom will never compete at a higher level than this tournament, and won’t get the chance to return next year.

Others showed displeasure with the IIHF, which had already cancelled all tournaments in January — including the women’s Under-18 world hockey championship.

Aaron VickersAaron Vickers

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