The New Zealand Ice Hockey Federation (NZIHF) has made the difficult decision to withdraw its U18 Women’s and U20 Men’s national teams from their respective 2022 IIHF World Championship events.
The NZIHF Management Committee met on Monday 6th September and discussed the two team’s attendance at the 2022 IIHF World Championships and after reviewing the situation, unanimously agreed that putting forward teams for these age groups to compete in the 2022 World Championships was not possible due to the ongoing effects of COVID-19 in New Zealand and internationally.
The U18 Women’s team was to travel to Turkey in January 2022, and the U20 Men’s team to Mexico in January 2022, to participate in their respective tournaments.
This decision to withdraw from the two tournaments 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, limited individual quarantine places and no group quarantine availability
- The impact that extended travel and quarantine requirements would have on players and staff, and their education and/or employment
NZIHF President, Andy Mills, added that while this was a no doubt a disappointment for the players and staff, it was the right decision for the NZIHF to make, ensuring that the health and safety of its teams remains paramount.
No decision has been made about the remaining national teams (U18 Men’s, Senior Men’s and Senior Women’s) participating in their 2022 World Championship events.