The International Ice Hockey Federation announced Saturday that the Women's World Championship is canceled because of concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.
The 10-nation tournament was to be held in Halifax and Truro, Nova Scotia, from March 31 to April 10. Instead, those Canadian cities will host the tournament in 2021.
“It is with great regret that we must take this action,” IIHF President René Fasel said in a statement. “It was not an easy decision to make, as we were greatly looking forward to hosting this tournament in Canada. Nevertheless, the decision has been made due to safety concerns for the well-being of players, officials and spectators.
“Ultimately the IIHF Council feels that there has not been enough of an improvement to the coronavirus situation to allow us to safely host a 10-team international tournament within this timeframe."
This isn't the first time the IIHF has taken such a step. The 2003 tournament, scheduled to be played in Beijing, was canceled because of the SARS outbreak.
The Women's Worlds are the top women's hockey tournament outside the Olympics. The USA has won the last five and eight of the last nine.
Hockey Canada said it was disappointed by the decision, which was also recommended by Nova Scotia's chief medical officer, but supported the move.
The IIHF will meet in mid-March to determine the status of the men's tournament, which is scheduled to begin May 8 in Switzerland.
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