2020 World Hockey Championship canceled due to coronavirus
Anton Novoderezhkin / TASS / Getty

The 2020 World Hockey Championship has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Ice Hockey Federation announced Saturday.

"This is a harsh reality to face for the international ice hockey family, but one that we must accept," IIHF president Rene Fasel said. "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."

The event was set to take place in Zurich, Switzerland from May 8-24. The country is now expected to host the 2021 worlds, and other scheduled hosts will be pushed back one year, reports TSN's Darren Dreger.

The tournament is usually filled with NHL players whose teams didn't make the playoffs or had already been eliminated from the postseason. A possible NHL return remains in flux, which threw a wrench into the IIHF's plans.

2020 World Hockey Championship canceled due to coronavirus
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