The 2020 World Championship in Switzerland is scheduled to start in about 69 days – or will it also be in jeopardy due to the circulating Coronavirus?

“We are in close contact with the organizers and try to analyze the situation,” IIHF president René Fasel tells the Blick in an interview. “We will wait until 15 March to see how this pandemic develops. After that we might be able to say more.”

According to Fasel, the IIHF’s medical commission is currently meeting in Budapest, where it will probably be decided that in a first step all international tournaments in March and all U18-events are going to be cancelled.

When asked about if there is a deadline for a cancellation of the Worlds in Switzerland, Fasel does not reveal a date but explains that for a cancellation it would require a political decision due to medical concerns, not least because of financial and insurance issues.

In case politics should allow the 2020 World Championship to be held but require the games to be played behind closed doors, the IIHF president gives a unequivocal answer: “It will not come to a World Championship with ghost games, that makes no sense at all from my point of view.”

Moreover, Fasel reveals that the IIHF is insured against a cancellation due to force majeure already since 2012 and that they recommend every organizer to do the same. The Swiss organizers, for their part, have taken out this insurance. Financial damage would therefore be excluded.