Ice hockey-KHL to suspend play for one week due to COVID-19 outbreaks

Written by on January 12, 2022

January 12, 2022

(Reuters) – The Russian-based Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), which is expected to contribute a large number players competing at next month’s Beijing Olympics, said on Wednesday it is suspending play for a week due to COVID-19 outbreaks at many clubs.

The KHL said it knew of 124 positive tests regarding players, including 27 in one day, and will stop play for one week starting on Saturday.

“I want to reiterate – our main goal in pandemic times is the health of players and fans. Nothing has changed on this aspect,” KHL President Alexei Morozov said on the league’s website.

The KHL, widely regarded as the world’s second strongest men’s league, became a key resource for nations assembling rosters for the Feb. 4-20 Beijing Olympics after the National Hockey League decided last month not to send its players.

Canada and the United States, which were originally among the gold-medal favourites and would have had rosters made up entirely of NHL players, will now likely call on athletes from the KHL and other overseas leagues.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)

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