International Ice Hockey Federation

Two countries for 2017!

Two countries for 2017!

2017 with regards to Germany & France

Published 25.04.2017 15:10 GMT+2 | Author Organizing Committee
Two countries for 2017!
Joint group photo of the U20 national teams in Bremerhaven.
Germany and France will face each other in various tournaments before they will welcome the world together as hosts of the 2017 IIHF WM.

The year to host the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship has come for both, Germany and France. For the first time in hockey history two nations will host the World Championship of the top division after winning with a joint bid. From 5th – 21st May 2017 the 16 best hockey nations will compete within two groups in Paris and Cologne. In the final round, which will take place in Cologne, the best four remaining teams will play for the gold and the bronze medal.

Not only the fans are full of enthusiasm for the event; Gabin Ville, member of the French U20 national team reflects upon the potential of a jointly hosted IIHF WM: “When two countries are committed to work together in such an intense way, this can only result in a positive outcome. In the best case the interest in our sport would be spread over an even bigger area.”

At the very beginning of the new year, ski-ace Felix Neureuther was appointed the first German ambassador of the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Cologne/Paris by DEB president Franz Reindl. Two days before a new record was set in France during the outdoor game between the Lyon Lions and the Grenoble Bruleurs de Loups. Altogether 25,182 fans supported the teams.

Therefore the stars for the project “Together For 2017“ do look very promising. The ticket sale has been quite successful so far, and the preparations are becoming more and more concrete. Also national coach Marco Sturm is already looking forward to the Championship: “To host such an event is something very special. We want to make a good impression and hope many fans will attend the games. I participated myself in the 2001 IIHF WM and lived too of the crowd’s support. Especially when you struggle during a game, you need the support of the fans.”

Sturm participated as assistant coach in December 2016 when the French and the German U20 national squads clashed at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group A in Bremerhaven. France, freshly promoted to the Div.1, made a strong impression in a very tight competition and finished 3rd. Despite an overall good performance the German team missed the promotion to the Top Division only by inches and finished its campaign behind Belarus on the 2nd place.

Nevertheless will the two federations face each other on the road to the World Championship in May not only in the conference room, but also several times on the ice. The U18 women’s national teams will meet in Hungary at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship Division I Group A this weekend, and later in February at the Women’s Olympic Qualification in Japan. The French Women’s National Team was able to make a big step towards their dream of participating in the Olympic Winter Games 2018 in Korea, as they fought their way to the last spot at the tournament in Japan. Germany was able to secure their spot earlier this year, as they are an automatic participant by world ranking.

In April the U18 teams of both nations will fight for the promotion to be one of the top-8 teams in the world at the U18 World Championship Division I Group A in Slovenia, before eventually the ice hockey highlight of the year will take place in Cologne and Paris – even though the first possible face up between Germany and France would be in the semi-finals.


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