Ice hockey-IIHF cancels six tournaments over coronavirus

March 2 (Reuters) - The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has cancelled six world championship tournaments in March and April amid the continued outbreak of coronavirus, it said on Monday.

The decision to cancel four men's under-18 tournaments and two women's world championship events in lower divisions in Estonia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Luxembourg, Poland and Spain was made on the advice of the governing body's medical committee.

The March 31-April 10 women's world championship in Canada remains on the schedule.

"I would like to thank the Medical Committee for their recommendation after very intense discussions over this weekend, I also thank our Council Members for their support of this recommendation in such challenging times," IIHF President Rene Fasel said in a news release.

"We will carefully evaluate on a daily basis the developments within our member countries."

The IIHF Council will reconvene in mid-March in Zurich for its annual spring meeting where it will consider any financial compensation for already-incurred costs to tournament organisers as well as to the participating teams.

The tournaments are the latest in a number of international sports events that have been hit by the coronavirus, with some competitions being postponed and others cancelled outright.

The flu-like virus is believed to have originated in a market selling wildlife in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year and there have been more than 87,000 cases worldwide and nearly 3,000 deaths in 60 countries. (Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; editing by Ken Ferris)