19 November 2020
Wednesday proved to be a tough day for everyone associated with hockey in China. For the Dragons, our game in Helsinki was cancelled after a couple of representatives of the team tested positive for coronavirus on arrival in Finland. Under local COVID restrictions, that means our team had to go straight to the airport and fly home.
The KHL will announce a decision on whether the game can be rescheduled in due course. Kunlun Red Star hopes that everyone who tested positive suffers no ill effects from the virus and reminds everyone to keep taking all possible precautions to control the spread of the disease. Red Star’s next KHL game is due to be played on Saturday, at home to Ak Bars.
Meanwhile, at the latest IIHF Council meeting, the upcoming international tournaments involving China’s teams – as well as 16 other international tournaments all over the world – were formally cancelled. In 2021, Beijing was due to host the Men’s Division IIA and Women’s Division IB competitions. Both of these were due to serve as test events for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games as well as giving valuable game time for our national teams as preparations for the big event step up a gear.
The IOC released a statement last week confirming that preparations to host the Games in 2022 are “well on track”. All the host venues are due to be ready for action by the end of this year, and the organizing committee is preparing an adapted test schedule to ensure that all of them meet the exacting standards required to stage the world’s greatest sporting festival.