Chinese hockey team will not be excluded from the Olympics

The ice hockey governing body backtracked on Tuesday on plans to ban the Chinese men’s team from competing in the Beijing Olympics next ...


The ice hockey governing body backtracked on Tuesday on plans to ban the Chinese men’s team from competing in the Beijing Olympics next year, a quick turnaround that came just weeks after the president from the hockey organization expressed concern that the Chinese team was just not good enough to earn a spot. In the field.

The president of the organization, Luc Tardif, announced that China will remain in the Olympic tournament in a press release published after a three-day meeting of the International Ice Hockey Federation in Zurich.

“To be clear, the IIHF is not going to remove the Chinese team from the Olympics,” Tardif said. “The status of the men’s national team as a host nation participating in the Olympic ice hockey tournament has been confirmed by Congress and remains unchanged,” a reference to an earlier vote to put Chinese men on the pitch, said courtesy given to almost all Olympic players. host nations.

It was Tardif, however, who suggested in September that the poor quality of the Chinese team could lead to ice hockey officials replacing the team at the Games. “Watching a team beat 15-0 is not good for anyone, not for China or for ice hockey,” Tardif said. told Agence France-Presse. He said hockey urgently needed to consider a “plan B” for the Olympics.

His comments created a potentially embarrassing situation for hockey, Beijing 2022 organizers and, perhaps most importantly, the Chinese government. Chinese President Xi Jinping sees the Beijing Games as an opportunity for the country to show its relative success in containing the coronavirus and demonstrate its emergence as a world power.

Yet the risk of Chinese humiliation increased this fall when the International Olympic Committee announced it had has reached an agreement with the National Hockey League on releasing players for the Games, ensuring that China’s first-round opponents – the United States, Canada and Germany – would be blessed with some of the game’s best talent.

Concerns about China’s performance are linked to a Chinese team competing in the Russian Continental Hockey League. The team, Kunlun Red Star, is usually based in Beijing but moved to a city near Moscow during the coronavirus pandemic in order to play in the eastern division of the league. He currently has the worst record in the 24-team league.

Yet even though Tardif said China would remain in the Olympic tournament, the international federation said it was working with the China Ice Hockey Association to schedule two matches featuring players eligible to represent the national team. “In a joint effort to assess the status of the team. preparations for Beijing 2022.

If the matches can be arranged, Chinese players will face off for the Kunlun Red Star in two KHL matches on November 15 and 17. After these dates, the statement issued on Tuesday said that “the IIHF Council will meet to discuss the next steps to be taken. . “

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Newsrust - US Top News: Chinese hockey team will not be excluded from the Olympics
Chinese hockey team will not be excluded from the Olympics
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