World Junior Hockey Championship | Slovakia goalkeeper criticizes the organization of the tournament

(Red Deer) The Slovak goalkeeper at the World Junior Hockey Championship has described this year’s tournament as a “farce”.

John Chidley Hill
Canadian Press

Simon Latkoczy posted two Instagram posts on Thursday, the day after the tournament was canceled by the International Ice Hockey Federation (FIHG) due to COVID-19 cases with at least three teams.

“I came here, I did my best, and is that how it is handled?” We must blame FIHG. They completely underestimated the preparation required,” Latkouzi wrote in his first two long texts.

“The organization of the event was awful from day one. It felt like I was participating in a small hockey tournament.”

Although Latkoczy’s Instagram account is not officially approved, his team leaders in the United States Hockey League (USHL) have confirmed that it is his account.

FIHG confirmed that seven new cases of COVID-19 were reported Thursday, including one from Canadian training. Two members of the Swedish delegation also tested positive, as did a representative from Russia, Germany and Slovakia. He also contracted the airtight virus.

The 2022 World Youth Hockey Championship was canceled on Wednesday after two cases in the United States, one in Russia and the other in the Czech Republic, forced the teams involved to waive.

Completely different from what it was in 2021

In his second position, Latcuchi recounted that the health protocols in place for this year’s tournament were very different from those in force for the 2020 edition, which was also introduced in Alberta.

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“Last year we spent the entire tournament in a bubble that included the arena and hotel. It was surreal, but it worked, the Slovakian wrote. The staff who worked with us stayed in the bubble for the duration of the event. They never went home.”

But this year, the hotel in Red Deer where the Slovak band was staying remains open to the public, according to Latkosi. So that people could continue to patronize the barber shop and restaurant, and a wedding was held even while the team was on site.

“Restaurant and hotel workers go home every night,” Latkozi said. It’s true that everyone has been tested daily, but we know that there is a delay between a person’s contact with an infected person and the time a test result comes out positive. How does this make sense? ”

The goalkeeper also admitted that he was disappointed by the cancellation of the tournament when very few cases were reported – however, his message was published several hours before FIHG announced the seven new cases reported on Thursday – and he left. Sorry to note that the organizers did not find any solution other than cancellation.

“They could at least have made a plan so we could finish the tournament,” Latkozi said. But they didn’t.

“They chose to cancel the tournament as if we were frivolous players playing during the holidays in Canada.”

Latcucci concluded his post by thanking the Slovak Federation, his teammates and coaches for their time together.

“It must have been a special moment,” wrote the 19-year-old goalkeeper. It’s really sad to end our career like this. ”

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Other reactions

Latkoji wasn’t the only one to express his disappointment after the tournament was cancelled.

The German Hockey Federation also took to Instagram to comment on the situation.

“It is a bitter decision to accept his players, coaches and all of our staff,” the statement read. But we fully understand the health aspect that was at stake and will do everything in our power to bring home our under-20 health team. ”

US squad leader Jake Sanderson said he was saddened by the FIHG announcement.

As for him, US coach Nate Lyman congratulated his players.

“We are very disappointed for them,” he said. They have proudly represented the United States and are the winners. ”

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