Ice hockey tournament without China? – «A runaway defeat would be a loss of face» – The Game

Ice hockey tournament without China?  - «A runaway defeat would be a loss of face» - The Game

It is currently being discussed whether the China national ice hockey team will be excluded from the domestic winter games. reasons.

In late September it became known that the world federation IIHF was considering holding an Olympic ice hockey tournament without host China. It will be set for the Winter Games in February 2022 even though the Chinese will actually be there. Reason: Poor athletic level.

“Ice hockey is still a niche sport in China – despite massive investments by the government, this has not changed,” says SRF China correspondent Martin Aldrovandi.

It’s hard to capture the culture of the sport.

Marcus Graf explains that with a lot of hard work and discipline, a lot is possible in the technical field. The problem is different, as the head of training at Swiss ice hockey explains: “It is difficult to capture the culture of the sport – the understanding of the game, the creativity, the reading of the game.” It takes years to reach this height.

Top-class rivals for number 32 in the world

China currently ranks 32nd in the world – and thus is in the area of ​​Spain, Australia or Israel. Opponents in Group A the following February are the USA (No. 4), Canada (No. 1) and Germany (No. 5).

Loss seems inevitable. And this is a problem in China, where national pride is not small, as Aldrovandi says: “If the Chinese team suffers a huge loss to the United States or Canada, it will be a shame, it will be a loss of face.”

Those who are familiar with China may even say that being out of an Olympic tournament may be the lesser of two evils. The IIHF wants to decide by the end of October whether the hosts will be allowed to participate in the Winter Games.

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