Ice hockey: The Swiss team remains technically unemployed

The Swiss “A” team will no longer meet in 2020. With the cancellation of the Visp tournament which was scheduled for December 14-18 – the Deutschland Cup had already been drawn up in the program in November – the internationals will not meet. not until next spring. In the end, they will only be entitled to one gathering in 2020, in February, for a match against Germany with a selection of players under 25. “Sportingly, we will focus on the spring, which will be an even more important period since it will be a question of preparing well for the Worlds,” explains Lars Weibel, director of national teams. “However, we want to catch up with the matches that cannot take place in Visp this year in 2021. On the one hand for sporting questions, of course, but also for commercial reasons vis-à-vis our partners.” If all goes according to plan, Switzerland will play six times at home next year.

As for the organization of a simple training camp instead of test matches against other nations, this option did not make much sense under the circumstances. “If the Visp tournament had taken place (editor’s note: Latvia, Slovakia and Norway were invited), we would have fielded our best team possible, continues Weibel. With the quarantines and therefore the possible withdrawal of some of our best players, there was no point in bringing the team together. On the other hand, Switzerland is currently a hotspot in terms of infections. Could our foreign adversaries have moved without being subjected to quarantines on their return home? The best solution was to be reasonable, and that’s what we did by giving up playing in December. We can afford it given that the national team, in recent years, is on the right track and we should not fear a decline in its sporting quality. On the other hand, we do everything possible to ensure that our junior selections (note: the U20s will play the world championships from December 26 in Edmonton in a bubble) and the women’s selections are not subject to competition cancellations. ” The December dates could thus be maintained.

Before going to Minsk during the Worlds jointly organized by Belarus and Latvia in May 2021, does the director of national teams fear the fact that the Swiss team are playing their matches in a country that has been politically troubled for months? ? He kicks in touch. “At this point, this question is hypothetical. The IIHF has looked into this case and as long as it has not ruled on this and nothing is decided on the hosting of the tournament in Belarus, there is no point in taking a position. ” A fallback could be Russia, with a tournament in Moscow instead of Minsk.

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