Norway dropped out of the Olympic qualifiers after the matches against Denmark, Slovenia and South Korea in August. Now I can still get an Olympic ticket.
The host nation can be thrown out of its own toys.
– This is a very special situation and something we have never seen done, says Secretary General of the Norwegian Ice Hockey Association, Ottar Eide.
Since Beijing was awarded the Olympics in 2022, the Chinese national hockey team has not taken the necessary steps to reach a high level. Therefore, I can now be wrecked as a result of them simply being too bad.
China is now ranked number 32 in the world after Spain.
– It is an issue IIHF now takes seriously and goes into with full force. We think it is very good that the new board does that, says Eide.
Must “test play”
The International Hockey Federation will now use a group to observe China in action.
First, they will go through listening to players China has entered in the championship, to ensure that all players are legally eligible to play. Several of the players playing in Russia, among other things, do not meet the criteria for Chinese citizenship.
When the listener is “washed”, a match will be arranged on November 14, where China will measure forces against another team, probably a Russian KHL team.
Here, the IIHF’s observers will check whether China is good enough to participate.
The match must also be possible to watch in all countries so that there will be no doubt about the IIHF’s decision.
-They have not developed since they were awarded the games as for example South Korea did when they hosted the Olympics. When Norway arranges the games in Lillehammer, experiences also include Norwegian hockey and a big boost.
He is happy that new forces in the international hockey association are taking action.
– This is a challenge for the entire product. For quality and for safety. If one can not look at this level, players can do many unorthodox things that can harm opponents. Also in the opposite case. It is played at a high tempo.
He also believes that hockey’s reputation is at stake.
– There are only twelve teams in an Olympics and then you should show the sport from a top level. It would be unfortunate to have such a low level in such a large tournament.
In mid-November, decisions will be made and if China is not allowed to participate, Norway will be one of the best in purchases over the nations that are not qualified.
– We would very much like to participate in the Olympics. If you take away China, we are at the top of the list and it is our turn. This should not have been done for a challenge ago, but because of Covid, this has taken time, says Eide.
Now the national hockey team must bite their nails until mid-November before they are told if they can participate in the games in Beijing.
– I have notified the national team team and the Olympic team. We received this information orally and are waiting for a formal confirmation from the International Hockey Federation, Eide concludes.