Due to a sharp increase in the number of positive tests for coronavirus, the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) is considering different scenarios for ending the regular season – including stopping it. This became known after an operational meeting of the league leadership.
On Monday, January 10, a daily operational meeting of the KHL leadership was held on the holding of the 2021/2022 regular season. As it became known from the press service of the league, at the meeting, the central issue was the discussion of how exactly to hold the regular season in the face of a sharp increase in the number of positive tests for coronavirus.
The situation in the Ufa “Salavat Yulaev” gave cause for alarm, where 26 cases of coronavirus infection were recorded at once: hockey players passed 20 positive tests, five coaches and one more from a team representative. Because of this, the leadership of the KHL decided to cancel the regular season match between Avangard and Salavat Yulaev, which was supposed to take place in Omsk on January 12.
In total, since the beginning of 2022, the league has already canceled seven matches with the participation of CSKA, Avtomobilist, Salavat Yulaev and Dynamo Riga due to outbreaks of coronavirus infection in the teams.
The press service of the KHL explains that “the League will make an additional decision on the possibility of holding the specified match later, like other previously canceled matches. and clubs where the epidemiological situation is stable will continue to play. “
Due to the fact that several teams at once massively detected positive tests for coronavirus, the stability of the championship was threatened. According to “MK-Sport”, at the operational meeting on January 10, proposals were made to interrupt the regular championship. However, the leadership of the league has not yet made such a decision. According to the KHL press service, “On January 11, 2022, the League will hold a meeting with the KHL clubs about the epidemiological situation and scenarios for the end of the regular season and the playoffs.”
The refusal of the league management to interrupt the championship has already caused the first comments. Former president of Avangard Maxim Sushinsky expressed doubts about the rationality of this approach: “The League knows better. Although, probably, the sports principle is violated,” Sushinsky said in an interview with Championship.
Two-time Olympic champion Vyacheslav Fetisov is also not sure about the rationality of this step:
“If some are playing, and the latter are not, then where is the sporting principle? I do not understand this decision. I hope that the league leadership calculates all the risks associated with the Olympics. Key players can also get into this story. But the risks are big.”
The former president of the KHL, member of the SKA board of directors, Alexander Medvedev , on the contrary, supported the idea of continuing the championship without interruption:
“I am categorically against stopping the KHL championship. The main thing is strict adherence to regulations and protocols, as well as preventing the spread of the disease,” Medvedev told TASS.
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