CAS reverses suspension of Sweden U20 coaches
by Adam Steiss|19 OCT 2018
Swedish U20 national team head coach Tomas Monten will be eligible to coach his team at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship as the three-game suspension was lifted.
photo: Matt Zambonin / HHOF-IIHF Images
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has upheld the appeals of Swedish U20 national team coaches Tomas Monten, Nizze Landen, and Henrik Stridh, and has repealed the decision of the IIHF Disciplinary Board to suspend the coaches during the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The CAS decision means that Monten, Lansen, and Stridh will be able to coach the Swedish World Junior team for the duration of the 2019 World Juniors. The suspensions handed down by the Disciplinary Board to the Swedish players that took off their medals during the post-game ceremony remain in place. 

On 30 April 2018, the IIHF Disciplinary Board issued a decision suspending Monten from acting as head coach or assistant coach or in any other position as a team official for the first three games of the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Junior Championship. Landen and Stridh were also each handed a two-game suspension. 

The suspensions came as a result of the coaches’ actions following the conclusion of the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship gold medal game. Following a 3-1 loss to Canada, during the post-game award ceremony all three coaches immediately removed the silver medals placed around their neck, and did not wear them around their neck for the remaining  time of the official celebration.

The IIHF Disciplinary Board initiated disciplinary proceedings against the Appellants, whose conduct during the post-game ceremony was considered to be in breach of Article 5.5.8 of the 2018 IIHF Championship Regulations.

Following the appeal proceedings initiated by the coaches, CAS determined the Appellants did not violate the 2018 IIHF Championship Regulations WM20, as according to the existing IIHF Championship Regulations: only the players of the losing finalist of the Championship have the obligation to wear the medals "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 IIHF is disappointed in the decision by CAS, as it believes that in the interest of sportsmanship and fair play the participating team’s coaches and staff should set an example and follow the same rules that are placed upon the players, especially in this case where wearing the medals is a mark of respect for the game and for the opponent. 

The IIHF acknowledges the oversight in the Championship Regulations – which does not explicitly include the coach or team staff as among the members that are required to wear the medals for the duration of the ceremony – and has since updated the Championship Regulations to include them, as they were always intended to be included in this rule.