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The International Ice Hockey Federation announced Saturday it was cancelling the 2020 world championship owing to the COVID-19 outbreak.

This year’s tournament was scheduled to take place in Zurich and Lausanne, Switzerland, from May 8-24.

The annual event routinely features NHL players from teams not competing in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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“This is a harsh reality to face for the international ice hockey family, but one that we must accept,” IIHF President Rene Fasel said in a release posted to the IIHF’s website. “The coronavirus is a global problem and requires major efforts by government bodies to combat its spread.

“The IIHF must do all it can to support this fight. We have to set sport aside for now and support both the government bodies and the ice hockey family.”

Participating teams were due to arrive in Switzerland in May for the IIHF annual congress. The IIHF said that congress is postponed until further notice.

The IIHF also said there are “obviously no possibilities to relocate the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship to another country.”

“The potential scenario of a postponement of the World Championship in Switzerland to another year is a matter that must be discussed within the congress, given the fact that the host countries for the forthcoming IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship are fixed until Year 2025,” the release said. “Therefore, such a decision will not be forthcoming until congress is next in session.”

The organization said it will clarify a refund policy for tickets soon.

The Canadian Press

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Second Senators player tests positive for coronavirus

The Ottawa Senators say another one of their players has tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of known NHL cases to two.

The team announced their second case in a statement Saturday, four days after announcing its first positive test result.

The team did not name the specific player, but said he was among those who travelled with the Senators on their west-coast road trip that included games in San Jose, Anaheim and Los Angeles before the NHL postponed the rest of its season last week owing to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The Ottawa Senators’ medical team is actively monitoring players and staff and following all appropriate and professional guidelines to help ensure the health and safety of our employees and the greater community,” the team said in the statement.

The team said 52 people, including players, staff, media, guests and flight crew, were on the trip and eight have been tested, with two positive results received.

Results have yet to come in for the other six, who were tested on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

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