The New Zealand Ice Hockey Federation has made the difficult decision to withdraw its U20 Men’s and U18 Women’s national teams from the 2021 IIHF World Championship Programme, due to the ongoing effects of COVID-19 in New Zealand and internationally.
The NZIHF Management Committee met and discussed the two team’s attendance at the IIHF World Championships and after reviewing the situation, unanimously agreed that putting forward teams for these age groups to compete in the 2021 World Championships was not possible due to the ongoing effects of COVID-19 in New Zealand and internationally.
This decision was made based on a number of factors, including:
- The health and safety impact for players and team staff of travelling internationally during a global pandemic
- Limited availability and significant cost increase in international travel
- Non-coverage by insurers for COVID-19 related events
- Requirements for quarantine and extended time away required by team players and staff
- The impact that extended travel and quarantine requirements would have on players and staff, and their education and/or employment
The two tournaments typically take place in January each year, hosted by one of the participating team’s countries.
NZIHF President, Andy Mills, added that there is too much unknown at this point, and with these two tournaments scheduled to take place so soon, the NZIHF does not have enough time to prepare, nor would participation in the events be a financially responsible decision. Additionally, the health and safety of all players and staff is paramount.
Mills confirmed that no decision has been made as of yet regarding the remaining teams – U18 Men’s, Senior Men’s (Ice Blacks) and Senior Women’s (Ice Fernz) – participating in their respective tournaments.