The Swedish Ice Hockey Federation cancelled November’s annual Four Nations Cup on Friday due to the Swedish national team’s ongoing boycott in a fight for equal pay.
The federation said the lack of clarity on its players’ status by the time the tournament started would make things difficult for the other nations to travel. The Cup is played every year between Sweden, Finland, the United States, and Canada. Sweden was the host nation this year.
The United States national team participated in a similar boycott in 2017, threatening to sit out the 2017 World Championships in the states if conditions didn’t improve. The Swedish players are taking a similar route.
It wouldn’t be the first tournament the players sit out. They didn’t play in a Five Nations tournament in Finland in August. Their previous deal expired in April, and since then the players have raised concerns regarding pay along with conditions and travel and schedule. Like most women’s hockey players, they have full-time jobs outside of hockey.
The players refused to attend a five-day camp ahead of the August tournament in Japan, when 43 players sat out.
Sweden was relegated for the first time in its history to Division IA of the 2020 women’s world championship after it failed to qualify for quarterfinals at the world championships in April, dropping three out of four games.