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Slovakia is the only applicant to host the 2019 ice hockey championship

SLOVAKIA remained the only applicant to hold the 83th IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship which will take place in 2019, after its only rival, Switzerland, withdrew its candidacy and applied for 2020.

Ice hockey stadium(Source: Tomáš Benedikovič)

Though it in fact means that Slovakia will organise the championships, it still needs to be confirmed by the IIHF congress held in Prague in May, the SITA newswire reported.

“We have been surprised by Switzerland’s decision,” said Igor Nemeček, head of the Slovak Ice Hockey Federation (SZĽH), as quoted by SITA, adding that the applicants used to withdraw their candidacy during the congress.

Slovakia, which is currently 8th in the world ranking, hosted its only IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship as an independent country in 2011, with Bratislava and Košice as the venues. Bratislava was also one of the host cities in 1959 and 1992 as a co-host with Prague when the event took place in Czechoslovakia, the IIHF website wrote.

According to Nemeček, though they remained the only applicants and it is quite sure they will be picked to organise the championship, it does not change their ambition to work on 100 percent and to responsibly prepare all necessary documents. The country will also be visited by an inspection committee which will check the stadiums and hotels. The SZHĽ also prepares a film which will be part of its 20-minute promotion at the congress in Prague.

“The previous championship in Slovakia was highly rated,” Nemeček said, as quoted by SITA. “We can now use the experience and move to a level higher.”

Slovakia does not plan to offer towns other than Bratislava and Košice to host the matches as “we do not have appropriate stadiums in other towns”, as reported by SITA.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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