The IIHF Congress in Prague, Czech Republic, today officially allocated the 2008 IIHF World Championship to Canada. Quebec City and Halifax did not face any competition as the German and Swedish delegations withdrew their bids for the 2008 IIHF World Championship already on Thursday and fully acknowledged their support for Canada's bid.
IIHF President René Fasel made the historic announcement at 15.58 CET. It marks the first time that the men’s IIHF World Championship will be staged in Canada. 2008 will also mark the 100-year anniversary of the International Ice Hockey Federation and the championship will be part of the IIHF’s centennial celebration.
At the same session, Switzerland (Zurich and Berne) was awarded the 2009 IIHF World Championship, while Sweden was appointed as stand-by organiser for the 2006 IIHF World Championship if Latvia isn’t able to fulfil its arena obligations. The Congress gave Latvia until to provide guarantees for a new arena in the capital Riga.
“I am obviously very happy that we can allocate our pinnacle event to the country that gave us ice hockey”, said IIHF President René Fasel following the vote. “To celebrate our federation’s centennial anniversary in Canada will be something very, very special.”
“ This also presents us with an unique opportunity to showcase the international game to the most devoted hockey fans in the world”, said René Fasel. “The fans in Canada have shown great interest and passion for international hockey in recent years and I am happy for them as well. They deserve to host the IIHF World Championship.”
Quebec City and the 15,000-seat Pepsi Colisee will be one of the venues for the 72nd IIHF World Championship and the 10,500-seat Halifax Metro Centre will be the other venue. Halifax and the Metro Centre hosted the 2003 IIHF World U20 Championship and the 2004 IIHF World Women Championship.
“ We are very excited to be awarded the 2008 IIHF World Championship”, said Bob Nicholson, President of Hockey Canada. “Bringing this event to Canada will be something special for hockey fans in Canada to witness the magnitude of this event. We know that Quebec City and Halifax will be outstanding venues and we hope it to be the best run championship yet.”
Canada (Montreal and Winnipeg) was awarded the 1970 IIHF World Championship, but the Canadian association withdrew from organizing the tournament due to a disagreement with the IIHF regarding amateur eligibility rules.
“ The IIHF was founded in 1908 in Paris, France and hundred years later we will be going to Quebec City which was founded by the French in 1608”, said René Fasel. “There is great symbolism to this historic co-incidence as we will be able to participate in the 400-year anniversary of a city which shaped the history of North America.”
Event details and plans for the 2008 IIHF World Championship are being developed by Hockey Canada, in partnership with the IIHF and the host organizing committees in Quebec City and Halifax. Further details and announcements regarding tickets, sponsorship, volunteer opportunities and the game schedule will be announced in the coming months and during the 2004-2005 season.
The 2005 IIHF World Championship will be hosted by Austria (Vienna and Innsbruck). Latvia is scheduled to be the organizer in 2006, while Russia has been awarded the 2007 IIHF World Championship.