China kicked out of Men’s Ice Hockey Winter Games tournament?

Mathieu WARNIER, Media365: published on Monday, September 27, 2021 at 11:15 p.m.

Barely elected to the presidency of the IIHF, Luc Tardif spoke about the lack of competitiveness of the Chinese men’s team, which could lose its automatic ticket for the Beijing Winter Games tournament.

This is one of the first sensitive files for Luc Tardif. After fifteen years at the head of the French Ice Hockey Federation (FFHG), the former player of the Dragons de Rouen was recently elected head of the International Federation (IIHF) and succeeds the emblematic René Fasel, who did not seek a new mandate after 27 years of reign. Four months before the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Games, the IIHF will soon have to rule on the ability of the Chinese men’s team to participate convincingly in the tournament which will be organized during the event. Indeed, the selection of the Middle Empire is automatically qualified as host country but its level of performance is very far from international standards. « Seeing a team get beaten 15-0 is not good for anyone, neither for China nor for ice hockey, » said Luc Tardif in comments collected by theAFP.

China replaced by Norway?

The question of a disqualification of China for the Beijing 2022 men’s tournament « really arises », added the new boss of world ice hockey. “This question really arises, for the men’s team, not for the women’s team, assures Luc Tardif. There are going to be China team matches which will be supervised by an IIHF official and a decision will be made after that. “At present, the Chinese selection is ranked 32nd in the world but has not played a single match for almost 2 years. If the International Federation comes out in favor of sidelining China, a fallback solution will have to be considered. « If this is not possible for China, we need a plan B and that will be decided by the ranking with Norway, » added the IIHF president. Indeed, the Norwegians are the best team not qualified for the Games in the world ranking with its 11th place. If China retains its place in extremis, the matches against Canada, the United States and Germany promise to be difficult… especially since the NHL players should be there, unlike the Pyeongchang Games. in 2018.

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