IIHF Disciplinary board decision
by Adam Steiss|02 MAY 2018
Swedish national junior team head coach Tomas Monten and team captain Lias Andersson.
photo: HHOF-IIHF Images
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The IIHF Disciplinary Board has handed down multiple suspensions to both players and coaches of the Swedish National Junior team for their conduct during the medal ceremony of the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, USA.

The player suspensions are as follows: 
  • Forward and team captain Lias Andersson is suspended for the first four games of the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
  • Forward Axel Jonsson is suspended for the first two games of the 2019 IIHF IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
  • Forward Jesper Boqvist is suspended for the first two games of the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.                                                      
  • Defenceman Rasmus Dahlin is suspended for the first two games of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.                                                                                         
  • Goaltender Olle Eriksson Ek is suspended for the first two games of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.                                                                                         
In addition to the player suspensions, The Disciplinary Board has also suspended three members of the coaching staff. 

Head coach Tomas Montén is suspended from acting as head coach or assistant coach or in any other  position as a team official for the first three games at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.
                                                                                                                                              
Assistant coach Nizze Landén is suspended from acting as assistant coach or in any other position as a team official for the first two games at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship
                                                      
Assistant coach Henrik Stridh is suspended from acting as assistant coach or in any other position as a team official the first two games at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship   

The suspensions will not go into effect for any player or coach participating in the upcoming 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, but will be carried over for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship or, in case of players not eligible to play in the U20 category anymore, the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. 

The violations occurred during the closing ceremony of the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship on 5 January 2018, in Buffalo, USA.  

Disciplinary Panel Explanation on Player Decisions

In the case of the players, immediately after the silver medal was placed around their necks and while still on the ice, all four players took the medals off and kept them in their hands for the remaining ceremony. Lias Andersson, who had been warned by the Co-Chairman of the championship not to take off the medal when he placed the medal around his neck, nevertheless took it off and tossed it into the stands.

By taking off the silver medals during the closing ceremony of the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Junior Championship immediately after the medals had been placed around their necks,  the players  in question violated Championship Regulations Article 5.5.8 of the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Junior Championship, according to which the silver medals are placed by IIHF representatives around the necks of the players and team officials and have to be worn around the neck in respectful manner for the duration of the closing ceremony and the following post-game mixed zone and media conference procedures.                                  
 
According to IIHF Disciplinary Regulations Articles 1.2, 3.2, the players named were thus subject to disciplinary measures for the violations. 

The Deciding Panel of the IIHF Disciplinary Board considers the violation as severe with regard to the importance of the IIHF Ice Hockey Junior World Championship and the closing ceremony, where the best two teams of the championship are honoured for their efforts and results in front of the spectators watching the ceremony in the arena and on television. 

The reasoning behind the decision is as follows: 

“Taking off the silver medals presented to the players shows not only the disrespect against the spectators and the organizers of the championship, but also the disrespect against their opponents and winners of the championship. The fact, that the players afterwards have apologized for their behavior and have assured that they had no intentions to be disrespectful to anyone, does not excuse the actions.” 

“The players have by their actions shown a lack of self-control, which cannot be accepted for a player playing at that level in an important championship. It indicates that they have developed wrong ambitions where only the first place counts, which is absolutely in contradiction to the ideas and values of sport. The actions of the players have to be considered as unsportsmanlike and as a breach of conduct that brings the sport of ice hockey into disrepute; they are not compatible with the idea of sport as a fair competition between the teams involved in order to determine the best team of the tournament. The actions in question cannot be excused by disappointment or even frustration not to have won the championship. Losing a game is part of any competition and of the sport of ice hockey, and does not excuse any unfair and unsportsmanlike behavior; to be ‘frustrated’ by the loss of a game is not the right attitude, even at the player’s age.”

The Panel is of the opinion that a suspension for two games imposed on Jonsson, Boqvist, Dahlin, and Eriksson Ek is necessary and adequate. Concerning player Andersson, the Panel is of the opinion that a suspension of four games is necessary, considering his position as captain of the team who should be an example in his behavior for his teammates and the fact that he not only took the medal off his neck, though he had been warned, not to do so, but also tossed it into the stands, demonstrating unsportsmanlike contempt for the award to everybody in the arena and on TV.

Disciplinary Panel Explanation on Coach Decisions

In the case of the coaches, head coach Tomas Monten and assistant coaches Nizze Landen and Henrik Stridh, immediately after the silver medal was placed around their necks and while still on the ice, took off their medals and put them into their pockets for the remaining time of the ceremony.

By taking off the silver medals during the closing ceremony of the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Junior Championship immediately after the medals had been placed around their necks,  the three coaches have violated Article 5.5.8 of the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Junior Championship, according to which the silver medals are placed by IIHF representatives around the necks of the players and team officials and have to be worn around the neck in respectful manner for the duration of the closing ceremony and the following post-game mixed zone and media conference procedures.   

The Deciding Panel of the IIHF Disciplinary Board considers the violation of Article 5.5.8 of the 2018 IIHF Championship Regulations WM 20 as severe with regard to the importance of the IIHF Ice Hockey Junior World Championship and the closing ceremony, where the best two teams of the championship are honoured for their efforts and results in front of the spectators watching the ceremony in the arena and on television.

The reasoning behind the decision is as follows: 
“Taking off the silver medals presented to the members of the team shows not only the disrespect against the spectators and the organizers of the championship, but also the disrespect against their opponents and winners of the championship; this behavior has to be considered as highly unsportsmanlike and is a breach of conduct that brings the sport of ice hockey into disrepute; it is not compatible with the idea of sport as a fair competition between the teams involved in order to determine the best team of the tournament. The actions in question cannot be excused by disappointment or even frustration not to have won the championship. Losing a game is part of any competition and of the sport of ice hockey, and does not excuse any unfair and unsportsmanlike behavior; to be ‘frustrated’ by the loss of a game is not the right attitude.”

The Deciding Panel is of the opinion that the violation of Article 5.5.8 of the 2018 IIHF Championship Regulation WM20 by the coaches concerned should be sanctioned by suspensions according to IIHF Disciplinary Regulations Article 5.1d). Considering the seriousness of the infraction as described above, the Panel is of the opinion that a suspension for three games imposed on the head coach and two games on each of the assistant coaches, considering their different position and responsibility, is necessary and adequate. 
All of these decisions are final within the IIHF. They may be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Château de Bethusy, Avenue de Beaumont 2, Ch-1012 Lausanne, Switzerland, within 21 days      
After the team has been notified of the suspension. The decision remains in effect while under appeal unless the Court of Arbitration for Sport orders otherwise (IIHF Disciplinary Code Article 12.5.4).
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