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IIHF releases new dates but no location for 2021 Worlds

This is technically the second time the 2021 tournament has been rescheduled.

IHOCKEY-WC-IIHF-US-RUS Photo credit should read JUSSI NUKARI/AFP via Getty Images

All hope for the 2021 World Championship might not be lost as the IIHF announced news dates for the tournament. However, they did not set a location.

The IIHF said the dates of August 20-31 were agreed to “in principle” and that the location was still under discussion. They are working with Hockey Canada to find new venues in Canada with the host to be announced “in the coming weeks.”

In the release, IIHF said finding the dates was a difficult task.

“In our meeting with the teams, unfortunately we were unable to achieve a full consensus on the dates, with some teams preferring to play in early September and others in late August,” said IIHF President René Fasel in the release. “But we need to respect as much as possible the start of various women’s leagues around the world, and also recognize the needs of the four teams that must prepare for the Women’s Olympic Qualification tournament in November.”

The Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, and Denmark are the four countries that need to qualify in the November 11-14 tournaments.

The news comes 9 days after the IIHF initially announced the 2021 tournament was cancelled per a decision by the government of Nova Scotia due to the rising cases in the province. At the time, they had no backup plans, but did announce they wanted to find an alternative. The cancellation came in the 24 hours before the 10 countries were set to leave for their pre-tournament quarantine in Nova Scotia.

After outcry over the lack of plans - especially since the IIHF hosted the men’s U20 tournament in a bubble in Edmonton late December 2020 and are currently hosting the men’s U18 tournament in Texas - Fasel responded that the IIHF had no reason to believe the tournament would not take place and also that having a full backup location for the same time frame was unrealistic for economic reasons.

This is the second time the 2021 World Championship has been rescheduled after it was pushed to a May 6 start date earlier this year. Typically, the tournament is in late March to early April.