Less than a week before the start of the Hlinka Gretzka Cup, representatives of Czech Hockey announced details about the organization. So far, it is going smoothly. But what would happen in the event of an infection in one of the teams? And who donated Wayne Gretzky´s jersey to the auction? This and much more was revealed today at a press conference in Prague.
The organizers of the Hlinka Gretzka Cup have had a hard time in recent months. However, everything was managed. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the tournament will start soon. Specifically on 2 August in Břeclav, Czech Republic, and Piešťany, Slovakia, despite the fact that both venues were accompanied by uncertainty.
The Slovaks recently closed their borders, which could mean a problem with the travelling of individual teams. “Colleagues from the Slovak Association, however, have arranged exceptions for hockey players. I would like to thank them for that,” said the General Secretary of Czech Hockey, Martin Urban.
He also appreciated the work of Czech colleagues who were finally able to provide players with accommodations in the Břeclav area. After the devastating June tornado, there is still not enough accommodation capacity.
And hockey decided to help. Hockey Canada donated a signed Edmonton Oilers jersey of Wayne Gretzky, which will be sold in an auction. Earnings from the auction will be given to the affected region (Hodonín and Břeclav regions).
Who knows, a hockey tournament for under-18 players could bring relief and pleasure to local people. Because after a long time, spectators are able to attend live sporting events. Originally, capacity was expected to be 2000, but after yesterday´s Czech government meeting, it is already clear that the number will be even higher.
Up to 3000 spectators will be allowed to attend with face masks. As Urban confirmed, the organizers can fill the rest of the capacity of the stadium with people who have been vaccinated or have suffered the disease in the last 180 days.
The 3000 are still required to submit one of four documents - a negative PCR test (maximum 7 days old), a negative antigen test (not older than 72 hours), a completed vaccination (at least 14 days), or proof of COVID infection (in the last 180 days).
Tickets will be on sale only at the arena in Břeclav. An all-day ticket costs 120 Czech crowns (4.70 EUR) and a tournament ticket will cost 420 Czech crowns (16.50 EUR).
Because of the pandemic situation, all athletes will be tested immediately upon arrival and once again before the tournament itself.
But what if one of the hockey players got infected? “If there was a positive case, the player would have to go into isolation and his teammates would be retested. Based on that, it would then be decided on the next step,” Urban explained.
However, the Secretary General of Czech Hockey believes that the tournament will proceed according to plan. “Sometimes, the situation is changing fast, so we have to be prepared. And in the case of need, we have to use alternative variants,” Urban said.