Olympics|Hockey Backtracks connected Plan to Eject Chinese Team From Olympics
Weeks aft a apical hockey authoritative suggested prime concerns could spot China’s men kicked retired of the Beijing Games, the team’s information was confirmed.
Nov. 2, 2021, 1:55 p.m. ET
Ice hockey’s governing assemblage connected Tuesday backtracked connected plans to barroom China’s men’s squad from competing adjacent twelvemonth astatine the Beijing Olympics, a swift reversal that came lone weeks aft the hockey organization’s president had raised concerns that China’s squad simply was not bully capable to merit a spot successful the field.
The organization’s president, Luc Tardif, announced that China would stay successful the Olympic tourney successful a connection released astatine the extremity of a three-day gathering of the International Ice Hockey Federation successful Zurich.
“To beryllium clear, the I.I.H.F. is not going to region the Chinese squad from the Olympic Games,” Tardif said. “The presumption of the men’s nationalist squad arsenic a big federation subordinate successful the Olympic crystal hockey tourney was confirmed by legislature and remains unchanged,” a notation to an earlier ballot to spot the Chinese men successful the field, a courtesy granted to astir each Olympic big nations.
It was Tardif, though, who had suggested successful September that the mediocre prime of China’s team mightiness pb crystal hockey officials to regenerate the squad successful the Games. “Watching a squad being beaten, 15-0, is not bully for anyone, not for China oregon for crystal hockey,” Tardif told Agence France-Presse. He said hockey needed to urgently see a “Plan B” for the Olympics.
His comments created a perchance embarrassing concern for hockey, Beijing 2022 organizers and, possibly astir important, the Chinese government. China’s president, Xi Jinping, views the Beijing Games arsenic an accidental for the state to showcase its comparative occurrence successful taming the coronavirus and to show its emergence arsenic a planetary power.
Still, the hazard of Chinese humiliation roseate this autumn erstwhile the International Olympic Committee announced that it had reached an statement with the National Hockey League implicit the merchandise of players for the Games, ensuring that China’s first-round opponents — the United States, Canada and Germany — would beryllium stocked with immoderate of the game’s champion talent.
Concerns astir China’s performances are linked to a Chinese squad that competes successful Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League. The team, Kunlun Red Star, is usually based successful Beijing but relocated to a metropolis adjacent to Moscow during the coronavirus pandemic successful bid to play successful the league’s eastbound division. It presently has the worst grounds successful the 24-team league.
Yet adjacent arsenic Tardif said China would stay successful the Olympic tournament, the planetary federation said it was moving with the Chinese Ice Hockey Association to docket 2 games featuring players eligible to correspond the nationalist squad “in a associated effort to measure the presumption of the team’s preparations for Beijing 2022.”
If the games tin beryllium arranged, the Chinese players would vie for Kunlun Red Star successful 2 K.H.L. games, connected Nov. 15 and 17. After those dates, the connection released Tuesday said, “the I.I.H.F. Council volition reconvene to sermon the adjacent steps forward.”