The Czechs want to take power away from Poland. They dream of breaking a record

WP SportoweFakty / Tomasz Kudala / Pictured: Dominik Paś

Rafal Smolinsky

After the end of the World Hockey Championships, the preliminary groups for next year’s championship have been formed. Today, however, its organizers want to change things, all with the aim of breaking the attendance record in the stands.

Poland were promoted to the top flight at the Division 1A tournament in Nottingham, where they took second place with 13 points. After the end of the elite world championships, which took place in Riga and Tampere, the preliminary groups for next year’s championship have been established based on the latest IIHF rankings (more here).

Poland moved into Group A, which will play its matches in Ostrava. The most dangerous rivals of the Whites and Reds were to be the Canadians, who had just become world champions. However, everything indicates that our hockey players will not face this world power.

As the portal found out, the Czechs approached the IIHF with a proposal to switch to both groups. Our neighbors to the south have the right to do so as organizers. The condition is that the replaced teams are as close as possible to each other in the world rankings.

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Thus, the Czechs want Canada to play their matches in Prague. The aim is to attract more spectators to the O2 Arena for matches with the reigning world champions and to break the attendance record set in 2015 during the tournament in the Czech Republic. At that time, the championship was watched live by approximately 741,000 people. Fans.

– The number one priority for us was to place the Czech team in Prague and the Slovak team in Ostrava. In this sense, the classification brought us luck and we did not have to deal with this exchange. We were therefore able to focus on our second priority: the performance of the Canadian team in Prague and the second foreign team in Ostrava, said Jan Cerny, Secretary General of the Czech Hockey Association.

Considering the above, the Czechs asked to replace the American team (which was originally in Group B) with Canada. Moreover, it has been revealed that if hockey players from the country of the maple leaf play their games in Prague, you can count on the performance of great stars of the NHL league.

One thing is certain, Poland and Slovakia will play in Ostrava. The Czechs hope that fans of these teams will turn up in large numbers for matches at the Ostravar Arena. After all, fans of the Whites and Reds will have everything close to Ostrava, as this city is located on the Polish-Czech border.

According to representatives of the Czech Hockey Association, the decision on the replacement will be known by June 12. The elite world championship will be played from May 10 to 26, 2024.

Proposed squads for the 2024 Elite Hockey World Cup (to be approved):
Group A (Ostrava): USA, Germany, Sweden, Slovakia, Latvia, France, Kazakhstan, Poland.
Group B (Prague): Canada, Finland, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway, Austria, United Kingdom.

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