IIHF postpones men’s Olympic qualifiers to August 2021

The tournament to determine the final three spots in the 2022 Olympic men’s hockey groups has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The IIHF made the announcement on Wednesday, stating that the qualification tournament will be pushed back a year to August 2021. Slovakia, Latvia, and Norway are set to host when play resumes next summer.

Group D: Slovakia, Belarus, Austria, Poland
Group E: Latvia, France, Italy, Hungary
Group F: Norway, Denmark, Korea, Slovenia

Last week the groups for both the men’s and women’s Olympic tournament were revealed with the qualifying teams earning a trip to Beijing.

Group A: Canada, USA, Germany, China
Group B: Russia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Qualifier 3
Group C: Finland, Sweden, Qualifier 1, Qualifier 2

According to the IIHF, the postponement needs to approved by the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee.

“We are fortunate that we still have some time to play these tournaments, and so that a move to August 2021 will still allow these teams to be able to ice their best players,” said IIHF President Rene Fasel.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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