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By The Athletic Staff
December 29, 2021 1:05 AM EST
121 Comments


IIHF President Luc Tardif addressed criticism his organization received for cancelling all January tournaments, including the 2022 IIHF Women's World U18 Championship. This was the second straight year the tournament did not take place due to COVID-19.

Though the U20 Men's World Championship for Division II was also canceled, the 2022 World Junior Championship began on Dec. 26 in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta.

When the announcement was made last week, Erin Ambrose, a member of the senior women’s national team, questioned the decision on social media.

"Why is it automatically a cancellation?" she wrote in a tweet. "We understand the concerns regarding health and safety but why is a postponement not considered for these women as the men’s tournaments continue without hesitation? #equalityinsport @IIHFHockey"

Tardif, in a statement on the IIHF website, expanded on his reasoning.

“This is not a gender issue, this is a COVID-19 issue. I would ask in turn how is it fair to postpone all the time the top divisions and always to simply cancel the lower divisions? These cancellations have affected six tournaments, not just one, including two men’s U20 event that critics seem to conveniently forget.

“In a normal season, we are not cancelling anything. The IIHF is not in the business of cancelling tournaments, we are here to play tournaments. But we are battling circumstances that are out of our control, and to be perfectly honest we have to think of the future too.

“Is there an economic incentive to host the men’s World Championship and World Juniors every year no matter what? Absolutely. But people misunderstand that this is because we favour men’s hockey over women’s, which is completely false. The revenue generated from these two events enables our federation to survive and support the operation of all other IIHF World Championship events. So if I have to make every effort to host a specific tournament to ensure the survival of other events, then it is my responsibility as IIHF President to do this.

“The IIHF has run a women’s hockey program since 1990, and was instrumental in the integration of women’s hockey into the Olympic program in 1992. Our women’s championship program has grown to encompass over 12 women’s senior and U18 tournaments and include the participation of 44 of our 82 Member National Associations. Our commitment to women’s hockey is longstanding, legitimate, and substantial.

“I and the new IIHF Council believe in women’s hockey, we are committed to investing in women’s hockey now and into the future. We empathize with the players and fans of the game, and we look forward to returning to a full Championship program.”

(Photo by ANTTI AIMO-KOIVISTO/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images)

Hailey Salvian and Sean Fitz-Gerald
Dec 31, 2021
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Hailey Salvian
Apr 22, 2021
With Wednesday's sudden postponement, the rug was pulled out from under players, coaches and tournament organizers.
Texas Tech upsets No. 1 Baylor on road for second top-10 win this week
Cavaliers, GM Koby Altman agree to extension through 2027-28 season: Sources
Oklahoma hires Alabama cornerbacks coach Jay Valai, finalizes on-field staff
Tampa Bay Rays bullpen catcher Jean Ramirez dies at 28
Jorge Masvidal-Colby Covington to headline UFC 272 in March: Reports
Judge's ruling clears way for Broncos to be put up for sale
Alabama sees handful of players enter transfer portal, including Jahleel Billingsley, Drew Sanders: Source
Buccaneers place Richard Sherman on IR, activate Shaq Barrett from reserve/COVID-19 list
Giants fire head coach Joe Judge after two losing seasons at the helm

source

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