Amid rising COVID-19 cases, IIHF cancels World Juniors

Two games were forfeited on Wednesday

The 2022 World Hockey Championship has been put on ice.

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) announced Wednesday afternoon that the tournament has been cancelled due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19.

“The IIHF Council has decided that, due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship will be cancelled to ensure the health and safety of all participants,” reads an IIHF statement.

Two games were forfeited on Wednesday involving Finland and the Czech Republic and Russia against Slovakia after positive COVID-19 tests involving the Czech and Russian teams. On Tuesday, the United States forfeited its game to Switzerland because of COVID-19.

The IIHF says the three forfeits meant “the sportive integrity of the event has been compromised.” 

“We owed it to the participating teams to do our best to create the conditions necessary for this event to work,” said Luc Tardif, IIHF president. 

“Unfortunately this was not enough. We now have to take some time and focus on getting all players and team staff back home safely.” 

Barrie Colts forward Oskar Olausson was playing with Team Sweden

Canada was scheduled to play its second-last group game against Germany on Wednesday. 

The tournament was being held in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta.