The top division in the ice hockey World Cup 2022 for men

Article

May 22, 2022

The top division of the 2022 Men's Ice Hockey World Cup will be held in Tampere and Helsinki, Finland from 13 to 29 May 2022. It is the 84th World Ice Hockey Championship hosted by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). In the top division, 16 teams participated in two groups with eight teams each, where the four best in each group advanced to the quarterfinals. Canada is the reigning world champion. As a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the IIHF decided on 28 February 2022 to exclude the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and Belarus from the World Cup. On March 18, the IIHF Council announced that France and Austria (who relegated to Division 1 Group A in 2019) would take over their places in the championship.

Choice of host nation

The choice of host for the World Cup 2022 was decided at the IIHF's annual congress in Cologne on 19 May 2017, when the association was to award the host for the World Cup in 2021. The IIHF had received two applications for the tournament - a bid from Finland and a combined bid from Latvia and Belarus. After a close race between two equal candidates, the Belarusian-Latvian application won by 55 votes to Finland's 52. After the lunch break, Finland confirmed that they would instead apply for hosting the World Cup in 2022. After consulting with the other countries in the top division whether they would be potential applicants for the World Cup in 2022, it was decided to assign the hosts to Finland, which was unanimously approved by the delegates at the annual congress. The host cities were Tampere (with the new Nokia Arena with a spectator capacity as the primary arena) and Helsinki (Hartwall Arena with a spectator capacity of 13,506 as a secondary arena).

Controversy

The exclusion of Russia and Belarus

Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 was met with condemnation and criticism from a number of countries, and also had ripple effects in the ice hockey world. In a statement on 25 February 2022, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) wrote that they condemned the use of military force and expressed sympathy for "Ukraine and the Ukrainian ice hockey family". At the same time, the IIHF Council convened an extraordinary meeting on 28 February to discuss the impact of the conflict on the IIHF's upcoming tournaments. Both Russia (as «ROC») and Belarus were qualified for the WC 2022 and Russia was the host country WC 2023 and junior WC 2023. On February 27, 2022, the ice hockey federations from eight member states - Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Norway, Great Britain, Switzerland and Germany - sent a call to the IIHF to ban Russian and Belarusian teams, athletes and shop stewards at all levels of international ice hockey and to halt the IIHF's collaboration with the Russian Continental Hockey League (KHL). The next day, the Finnish Ice Hockey Federation (Suomen Jääkiekkoliitto) issued a press release stating that they would not accept Russia's and Belarus's participation in this year's World Cup, to be held in Finland. They also demanded the exclusion of Russia and Belarus from international ice hockey and that Finland would not play international matches against their national teams. Later that day, the Czech Ice Hockey Federation (Český svaz ledního hokeje) also announced that they would boycott all international matches against Russia and Belarus. The ice hockey federations of Finland, the Czech Republic and Sweden (Swedish Ice Hockey Federation) also stated that Russia would not be allowed to participate in the rest of the season's Euro Hockey Tour tournaments. According to the president of the Finnish Ice Hockey Federation, Harri Nummela, the aim is to replace Russia with the highest ranked European team for the season 2022 / 23. On the evening of February 28, the IIHF decided to ban all Russian and Belarusian clubs and national teams from IIHF tournaments indefinitely time, which meant that the countries could not participate in the World Cup. At the same time, they deprived Russia of the host to host the junior world championships in ice hockey 2023, which according to the plan should have been held in Novosibirsk and Omsk. Russia va