MANNHEIM – IIHF President René Fasel expressed satisfaction with the 2010 World Championship as it is about to reach the playoff stage. “The commitment of the players who are here is admirable, and the results so far show increased parity in international hockey,” said Fasel.
The IIHF President sees many encouraging signs prior to Thursday’s quarterfinals in Cologne and Mannheim.
“The World Championship is about growing the game, and several nations show proof of considerable improvement. Norway played very well although they didn’t make it to the playoffs; Denmark is in the quarterfinals for the first time ever; and, the hosting team has created some kind of hockey fever in Germany despite the fact that the FIFA World Cup is fast approaching.”
Fasel added: “I also like the way the players are conducting themselves. Despite coming off demanding domestic league seasons and in some cases playoffs, they have played hard and with lots of commitment.”
With the best games still ahead of us, the 74th IIHF World Championship is already a success in terms of attendance and it has already surpassed the numbers from 2001, the last time the tournament was staged in Germany.
“We got off to a perfect start with the game in Gelsenkrichen,” Fasel noted. “This is what you always want - the home team who is an underdog to score an upset in the opening game. After that, the World Championship just took off, especially in Cologne. It really says a lot when the organizing committee is a little disappointed when one of the Germany games ‘only’ drew 15,000 fans.”
“Now I am just looking forward to four great quarterfinals.”