Richmond’s opportunity to host the world’s largest adult hockey tournament has been put on hold until 2021.
Officials of the CARHA Hockey World Cup announced late Wednesday afternoon the event has been postponed due to coronavirus concerns.
The tournament was slated for March 29 to April 3 and was going to feature nearly 3,000 athletes representing 140 teams from 15 countries.
The decision comes just a day after the plan was to proceed with the tournament and festivities with additional safeguards in place. However, all that changed when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus a pandemic early Wednesday.
“Due to the recent update and developments coming from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization with respect to COVID-19 (coronavirus), CARHA Hockey regrets to announce that it will be postponing the 2020 CARHA Hockey World Cup,” wrote Lucy Peeling, CARHA’s manager, special Events and programs.
“We are working with our partners to solidify new dates in 2021. This was not an easy decision to make but was necessary in light of the large number of international travellers involved in our tournament and the worldwide uncertainty with regards to COVID-19.
“The foundation of the CARHA Hockey World Cup is to encourage camaraderie across a multitude of countries and provide an extraordinary hockey experience for its participants and fans. CARHA Hockey takes pride in ensuring it delivers the CARHA Hockey World Cup to the standards that participants, fans and supporters alike have come to expect. Without question, we look forward to hosting the CARHA Hockey World Cup in 2021 and will share with you new and exciting developments in the coming weeks.”
The tournament is held every four years and was coming back to the West Coast for the first time since 2000.
International entries included Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Russia, Slovakia, Italy, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Kazakhstan.