Interview | Ice Hockey World Championship canceled
“What would have happened if men had played in Canada?”
The suitcases for the Ice Hockey World Championship were already packed, but the day before the tournament was canceled. Laura Cluj and her colleagues from Berlin publicly complained. Now there is an alternate date in summer.
rbb | 24: Ms. Cluj, when the rejection came, you were in training camp in Fusen and preparing to leave for the World Cup. How did the team get the news?
Laura Cluj: I think we were all relatively surprised because we were told that in the evening the day before we left. We had already packed all our things. Some were still at the ice rink, others were called to the hotel and then a team meeting on short notice. We were told that we would not take off tomorrow, but that the World Cup was canceled.
How did you feel after demonetisation and the postponement?
He was definitely a disappointment. You prepare for this type of event throughout the season. This type of World Cup is always the highlight of the year, whatever you train for it. Sure, now you are happy that the World Cup is happening again, but you have to close it first.
There has been no international tournament for women for two years. However, the U20 World Cup for men can happen in winter. The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) may not influence event values at venues, but do you see a double standard here?
It is always difficult to say. Certainly, the Men’s World Cup has taken place now, but in different places. The question would be what would have happened if men had played in Canada. One does not know. Of course it is a shame for us that nothing happened for two years and men are allowed to play. But since the World Cup has been postponed, we hope that this is a clear indication that women have been given importance.
After the cancellation, many international players complained because no alternate dates were planned. Do you think that without this wave of resentment, the cancellation will remain?
I hope not, but I believe the statements made by the players in particular prompted IIHF to look more deeply for a possibility. But it is difficult to tell.
In response to the complaints, the International Hockey Federation wrote that it would be too expensive to plan a replacement venue as an alternative. Does this count as an argument for you?
Yes, I believe that money definitely plays a role. Women’s ice hockey does not bring much benefit to the association. And it is expensive to have a reserve hotel with 200 rooms to replace it. The option that should have been thought of would be to move forward from the beginning and it would not be difficult to go where you know. The problem is that you have consistently followed the plan.
How different is the appreciation between men’s and women’s ice hockey? Do you see the change there?
I believe that women’s ice hockey usually gets more recognition. But especially in Germany, no matter whether male or female, ice hockey is still relatively low compared to other sports.
Does appreciation for women’s ice hockey also appear in the German Ice Hockey Federation?
A lot has happened in recent years. I think the association is completely behind us. Huge amount of money was spent preparing us to participate in the World Cup and now it was clearly stated that the support would remain there.
We had three introductory courses and these are the principles that have been overcome in principle and should now be taken up again. The club is doing really well.
Thank you for the interview!
The interview was conducted by Lynn Kramer, RBB Sport.
Broadcast: rbb UM6, May 12, 2021, 6 pm.
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