Category: Asia (Page 1 of 12)

Top sports authority issues formal reprimand to ice hockey body

the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China said Thursday it will issue a “written reprimand” to the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association over a national anthem blunder.

Source: The Standard

The Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China said Thursday it will issue a “written reprimand” to the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association over a national anthem blunder.

The association was also urged to submit supplementary info within 14 days on how it would improve its corporate governance, integrity management, and membership system.

The SF&OC’s decision follows fierce exchanges between them and the ice hockey association since the association submitted an 11-page report to the top sports authority on the February incident in which the organizers of an international ice hockey tournament in Bosnia played a protest song rather than the national anthem at the event.

Speaking to the media today, SF&OC’s honorary secretary-general Edgar Yang Joe-tsi said the board has found the team leader of the ice hockey team not following relevant guidelines in the Bosnia game after reviewing the report, in which it decided to issue a “written reprimand” – a very stern warning instead of a general warning.

Yang said the SF&OC will also refine the guidelines to provide solutions for sports teams when they run into extraordinary circumstances.

He said the sports team will be requested to collect a tool kit from the committee before setting off for games, with the organizers of the events required to acknowledge receiving the kit with a written receipt.

Should the organizers refuse to acknowledge or confirm the national anthem and the national flag, team leaders must not let athletes attend the ceremonies, he added.

Kuwait and Lebanon to Compete in First Arab Ice Hockey Championship Final

Source: Arab Times

The Kuwait and Lebanon men’s ice hockey teams have advanced to the final of the first Arab Ice Hockey Championship, currently taking place in Kuwait, after defeating Oman and Bahrain, respectively, in the semi-finals on Thursday evening. The Hockey Blue team secured a well-deserved victory over Oman with a score of 13/3, while Lebanon dominated its match against Bahrain with a score of 8/1.

The two teams will face each other in the tournament’s final on Saturday, while Bahrain and Oman will compete for third place. In placement matches from fifth to eighth place, Tunisia defeated Saudi Arabia 14/3, and Algeria beat Egypt 8/3. The Vice-President of the Kuwaiti Winter Games Club, Khaled Al-Mutairi, expressed his admiration for Al-Azraq’s qualification to the final and praised the tournament’s technical and organizational success.

The Chairman of the Omani Ski Sports Committee, Saeed Al Zaabi, was proud of Oman’s progress to the semi-finals, while Kuwait national team player Jassem Al-Awadi expressed the team’s determination to win the championship and dedicate it to their fans. The final match promises to be a competitive and exciting event as it brings together the tournament’s top teams.

Thailand wins women’s 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s Asia and Oceania Championship gold

By Andrew

Backed by the near-perfect goaltending of Thamida Kunthadapakorn, Thailand won the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s Asia and Oceania Championship (IIHF WAOC) with a 3-1 win over Iran in the gold-medal game Sunday in Bangkok. The eight-team tournament saw Kunthadapakorn surrender just one goal in 260 minutes of playing time while her teammates outscored the opposition by a whopping 51-3 margin. The final game was the only one in which the Thais didn’t score at least 11 goals.
Other countries competing in what was formerly known as the Challenge Cup of Asia included Singapore, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, India, Kyrgyzstan, and Kuwait. Singapore won the bronze earlier in the day with a 3-1 win over India.
For Iran and Kyrgyzstan these were historic games, their first women’s participation under the IIHF umbrella. The tournament is particularly valuable to these nations which are not competing in an IIHF World Championship event but nonetheless gives them international experience and also helps prepare them for the Asia Winter Games which will next be played in Trojena, Saudi Arabia, in 2029.
The IIHF WAOC tournament started in 2010, and was won by China in that inaugural season. This year marked the second time Thailand won, the first coming in 2019, the last time the event was played before covid-19 forced the cancellation of hockey worldwide. It also marked the second time Thailand had hosted the event, and all 20 games were played at the Thailand International Ice Hockey Arena in Bangkok, which has the standard international dimensions of 60m x 30m. The explosion of hockey in Asia, and Thailand in particular, is further evident by the imminent opening of another rink, in Chiang Mai, about 700km north of Bangkok, this summer.
In the case of India, the team was coached by Canadian Darrin Harrold, and some 18 of the 20 players came from Ladakh, a region in the far north that is making a major push to develop hockey.
The winning Thais were also coached by a Canadian, Rory Rawlyk, while the players came from a national women’s league that has also made a push to promote hockey. And in Iran, their first rink opened four years ago, and the following year a women’s team was formed, mostly from Inline players. The Tehran Times covered the 2023 IIHF WAOC, an important symbol of respect for the emerging popularity of the game. In the United Arab Emirates, the team held a two-week training camp prior to the tournament, an event they hosted in 2019.
The tournament was played with two groups in vertical structure, the top four in Group A (Thailand, Singapore, Macau, UAE) and the lower-ranked four in Group B. The last two teams in Group B—Kyrgyzstan and Kuwait—didn’t qualify for the playoffs while the top two in A—Thailand and Singapore—automatically advanced to the semi-finals.
Key to Thailand’s win in the final game was holding tournament scoring leader, Fatemeh Esmaeili, in check. Although she led all players with a whopping 17 goals and 26 points in just five games, she was held pointless in the game for gold. At the other end, it was captain Thipwarintorn Yannakornthanapunt who led the way, scoring two goals in the third period to break a 1-1 tie and carry her team to victory. Incredibly, she also took 34 of the team’s 38 total faceoffs in the game, winning 19 (64 per cent).
Supitsara Thamma had given the Thais the early lead, but Zahra Rezaei Jafari tied the game for Iran midway through the second, setting the stage for Yannakornthanapunt’s heroics in the final period.
All in all, the Thai win was impressive and important, but the tournament was, in the bigger picture, indicative of an ever-growing development of the women’s game in the Far East and the evident sense that this growth is only just beginning.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government announced that they will be supporting the decision to ban the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association (HKIHA) after a blunder with the national anthem in February.

They released a statement backing the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF&OC) request for the HKIHA to produce an explanation behind the mistake and how they will improve upon it.

The incident happened before Hong Kong’s match against Iran at the  International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship Group III in Bosnia and Herzegovina when an anti-Government song linked to protests in Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, in 2019 were played instead of the Hong Kong anthem.

“In the event that suspension of the HKIHA’s membership is affirmed by the SF&OC through the passage of a special resolution, the HKSAR Government will, under the premise of not affecting the athletes, consider reducing the subvention to the HKIHA correspondingly as punishment,” the statement said, according to China Daily.

“The national anthem is a symbol and sign of the country and should be respected on all occasions. 

“The HKSAR Government will impose severe sanctions for non-compliance without exception.”

Detailed instructions on flag and anthem ceremonies were issued in November last year after a similar incident occurred at a rugby sevens match in Incheon in South Korea.

Despite the row, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Kevin Yeung Yun-Hung promised that he will advocate for funding to continue so that athletes can participate in international competitions and receive funding.

“When dealing with this incident, we see that the managing leaders of the ice hockey association did not give appropriate attention to the handling of the national anthem,” Yeung told public broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong.

“This also reflects some issues with its internal management. 

“Therefore, we support the measures taken by the SF&OC to start a proceeding that may lead to the temporary suspension of the membership of the ice hockey association.”

Honorary chairman of the HKIHA is Kenneth Fok, vice-president of the SF&OC, which is led by his father Timothy, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee.

Kenneth Fok is also Legislative Councillor for the Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication Functional Constituency.

Fok was appointed as honorary chairman of the HKIHA after leading the Hong Kong delegation as team leader to the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne.

He has supported the decision of the SF&OC to recommend the suspension of the HKIHA, claiming it will highlight the corporate governance issues within the association.

Yun-Hung also talked about the potential cuts in funding and what extent it may reach.

“We will not discuss in detail the spending of all the budget of the Ice Hockey Association openly,” he said.

“If we have to cut some of the budgets at the end, which we do not really want to happen.

“We will ensure that the athletes will be able to continue to participate in international competitions and also their training will not be affected.”

The ice hockey association mentioned that budget cuts will have repercussions on development and competing.

They also said that the leaders of the organisation are volunteers and unpaid.

Hong Kong top sports federation threatens to suspend ice hockey body over anthem blunder

Hong Kong hockey players react to a protest song being A The protest song Glory to Hong Kong was heard instead of China’s Marches of the People during an ice hockey match between Hong Kong and Iran on February 28.

By Hillary Leung – Hong Kong Free Press

The top sports federation representing Hong Kong at the Olympics has warned that it could suspend the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association (HKIHA) after a blunder that saw a pro-democracy protest song played instead of China’s national anthem at a recent international match.

In a statement published on Tuesday, the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF&OC) said the association had one month to provide a “full written explanation” about its “non-compliance… to handle the national anthem in a dignified manner.”

Otherwise, the federation would suspend the HKIHA’s membership, a decision it added was supported by the Hong Kong government.

The move comes over a month following the anthem mishap, in which Glory to Hong Kong – a song composed during the protests in 2019 – was played at a February ice hockey match in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

It was at least the fifth such incident involving the wrong song being played at an international sporting event in recent months. Hong Kong authorities have referred to the tune being “closely associated with violent protests and the independence movement in 2019.” Though the protests attracted a handful of pro-independence activists, it was not one of the movement’s demands.

When Glory to Hong Kong was played after the match in Sarajevo, athletes made the “time-out” gesture as per new guidelines on how to respond if the incorrect song was heard. The correct song, Chinese anthem March of the Volunteers, was played soon after.

Leadership ‘failings’

In the Tuesday statement, SF&OC repeated earlier criticism that the HKIHA had been uncommunicative and failed to act with “the appropriate due diligence.”

The federation said it had made “repeated attempts” to meet with HKIHA’s leadership to discuss the incident, but that such a meeting could only be arranged after more than three weeks.

“Such unwillingness and evasiveness reflect the failings of HKIHA’s leadership to communicate and cooperate with SF&OC, as well as its placing insufficient importance to the display of the national anthem and to uphold the dignity of the country,” the SF&OC wrote.

In addition to a report on the association’s “non-compliance,” it will also have to submit “a plan of improvement on corporate governance.”

HKIHA said in a statement a day after the incident that it had “strictly observed” SF&OC guidelines with regards to the anthem, having issued the “official version” to the event organiser, the Ice Hockey Association of Bosnia & Herzegovina.

The European association expressed its “deepest apology” over the error, calling the mishap an “honest human mistake” made by a technician playing the anthems.

Anthem saga

The national anthem saga began last November when the song associated with the 2019 extradition bill protests was heard at South Korea’s Rugby Sevens instead of the national anthem. Asia Rugby President Qais Abdulla Al Dhalai later flew into the city to apologize as the government demanded an investigation. Organizers had reportedly downloaded the top song listed when when searching online for the “Hong Kong national anthem.”

The government said it had asked a search engine to pin the correct information about the national anthem at the top of their search results. The Innovation, Technology and industry Bureau added that it was “enhancing” government webpages including adjusting keywords and adding text titles to boost their search ranking.

The authorities have refused to say if the Glory to Hong Kong is illegal, though it is banned in schools and police have intervened when it is played in public.

Clash between Hong Kong top sports body, ice hockey team deepens over national anthem blunder

Hong Kong hockey players react to a protest song being A A song linked to the 2019 anti-government protests was played at an international ice hockey event last month.

By Emily Hung – South China Morning Post

A war of words between Hong Kong’s sports federation and the city’s ice hockey association deepened on Friday over a blunder last month when a protest song was once again played at an international tournament instead of China’s national anthem.

After the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China on Wednesday issued an ultimatum to the Ice Hockey Association’s management to come clean over its handling by Monday, the team’s leader hit back on Friday that it had already promised to respond by the deadline and was concerned by the body’s accusations of non-cooperation.

The blunder behind the fiery exchange occurred on February 28, when a song related to the 2019 ant-government protests played instead of “March of the Volunteers” after Hong Kong beat Iran at the 2023 Ice Hockey World Championship’s third division in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The ceremony was halted after Hong Kong athletes made a “T” shape with their hands, and the correct anthem was later played.

But the city’s sports federation on Friday said it was unclear whether the ice hockey team had provided organizers with a hard copy of the anthem, which could have prevented the blunder.

A federation insider said passing a hard copy to organizers should have been done face-to-face, based on guidelines issued last November by the city’s top sports body and international customs concerning playing national anthems at overseas sports events.

According to the source, association president Mike Kan Yeung-kit had said a copy of the anthem was given to the organisers but the information was not included in the group’s preliminary report on the incident.

The insider also accused Kan of being evasive when the federation sought to clarify the discrepancy.

The Post has contacted the association for comment.

The guidelines issued by the city’s sports federation require a team leader assigned by their respective association to give organisers a USB drive containing the correct music.

The drive could either be obtained from a toolkit provided by the federation or the anthem could be downloaded from the official website and saved to a hard copy.

Upon receiving the materials, organisers should provide confirmation by email, text message or a written note with an official signature.

Discussing last month’s blunder, a second federation insider said: “If the team leader did make an effort to [prevent the error] and the problem lies with the organiser, we would surely understand and accept it.”

“But in this case, we have not managed to meet [the association] in person and discuss it, and we cannot know the whole picture.”

Speaking in an independent capacity on Friday evening, ice hockey team leader Annie Kwan Yuen-yee said she was doing her best to work with the federation and police despite flying to South Africa for another tournament last Friday, just two days after returning from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The team leader said she had already provided a statement to police last Wednesday after the tournament wrapped up, before submitting a preliminary report two days later, and replying to text messages from the federation on Friday to acknowledge Monday’s deadline.

“The association and the athletes are troubled by the accusations of not being responsive, and that we could not explain ourselves due to insufficient time, which resulted in misunderstandings,” she said.

“This has affected our athletes and we are regretful that we only got the first and second runner-up positions in the tournament this time.”

The team earlier accused the sports federation of providing a problematic hyperlink for downloading the country’s anthem, which was passed to the organizers.

Team leader Kwan had said the organizers failed to download it and instead searched for a copy online without contacting the association, resulting in the error.

While she admitted to having a hard copy of the anthem, Kwan had made no mention of any attempts to pass it to the organizers.

After the Monday deadline, the federation said, it hoped to meet the management of the ice hockey association in person on Thursday to determine the facts and suggest fixes for any loopholes.

But the federation on Friday stopped short of saying how it might follow up with the team if it did not cooperate, reiterating that the sports body recognised the efforts of the athletes and did not wish to trade blame with the ice hockey association.

The federation was also speaking with the event organizers to learn more about how the anthem was passed to them, it added.

Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association may be kicked out of sports federation and lose funding for failing to follow new anthem protocol

Hong Kong hockey players react to a protest song being played instead of the national anthem after they beat Iran.

By Edith Lin – South China Morning Post

The Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association may be kicked out of the city’s sports federation and lose government funding after a preliminary investigation found it had failed to take the proper steps to ensure the Chinese national anthem was played at an international match.

In a report submitted to the government by the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, on Friday, the team was said to be “clearly not in compliance with the requirements” of the protocol for the playing of the national anthem at the 2023 Ice Hockey World Championship Division III last week, when a song linked to the 2019 protests was used instead.

“[The committee], in conjunction with the respective department of the government, should consider implementing possible and appropriate sanctions against [the association],” it said.

Guidelines released last November stated sanctions could include suspension of membership in the National Sports Association under the committee and lose of subvention or funding from the government.

On Friday, the government said it would review the report and discuss follow-up action with the city’s sports federation.

The protocol was drafted hot on the heels of an embarrassing fiasco in which the protest song “Glory to Hong Kong” was played instead of the “March of the Volunteers” at a rugby match in South Korea’s Incheon in November.

The new guidelines placed extra responsibilities on the team leader, including distributing a hard copy of the anthem and a city flag to the event organizer with an official confirmation before the game and checking with them at the venue.

But the protest song was played last Tuesday following the city team’s defeat of Iran in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The athletes made a “T” shape with their hands to point out the blunder, which is part of the requirements under the new protocol.

The report criticized the ice hockey club for failing to come clean on whether they had followed the requirements of the city’s sports federation, including passing on a hard copy of the anthem or obtaining a written confirmation of receipt from the organizer.

“Despite persistent questioning by [the committee], [the association] has been evasive and failed to address such questions … It is therefore strongly believed that [the association] did not perform their duty in accordance with the guidelines,” the committee said.

The report said that while the organizer, the International Ice Hockey Federation, had ignored the team leader’s request to check the national anthem would be used, they did not follow up the request. The representative should have made a “more robust request”, which could have stopped the incident from happening, it said.

The report said that while the organizer, the International Ice Hockey Federation, had ignored the team leader’s request to check the national anthem would be used, they did not follow up the request. The representative should have made a “more robust request”, which could have stopped the incident from happening, it said.

The report quoted Ji Ping, the Chinese ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, who said International Ice Hockey Federation staff had “inadvertently” downloaded the wrong song.

The committee urged the event organizer to submit a report, which was to be sent by Friday.

The Hong Kong government “strongly deplored” the blunder and requested the local Olympic Committee conduct an in-depth investigation, while the organizer apologized for the incident.

Pui Kwan-kay, honorary vice-president of the city’s sports federation, had said it was the Hong Kong government’s responsibility to continue liaising with internet giant Google to ensure the Chinese national anthem was placed at the top of search results when the relevant key words were entered.


Japan Calls on Veteran NHL Coach Perry Pearn to Get Men’s National Ice Hockey Team Up to Speed

The Japan Under-20 men’s national team stands on the ice before its game against Ukraine in the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group B final in Poland in December 2022. (International Ice Hockey Federation)

By Jim Armstrong – SportsLook

Looking to emulate the progress made by the women’s team, the Japan Ice Hockey Federation has hired a veteran National Hockey League coach to help the men’s national squad move up in the rankings.

As the host nation, both Japan’s men’s and women’s teams took part in the 1998 Nagano Olympics, where it was hoped appearing on such a large stage would give the sport a boost in Japan.

The Japanese men, under Canadian coach Dave King, had two losses and a draw in the preliminary round. Then, before a capacity crowd of 9,495 at the Big Hat arena, they beat Austria 4-3 in the consolation round.

It was a significant accomplishment. While not a top-tier nation, Austria had a decent hockey program at the time and was in the group of teams just below the elite division.

The women went 0-5 in the preliminary round with their best result being a 5-0 loss to Sweden.

It was hoped both the men and women would build on the Nagano experience. But that’s only been the case for the women’s team, which has risen all the way to seventh in the IIHF rankings.

Known as “Smile Japan,” the women’s team has found a winning formula. The men, currently 25th in the world rankings, are still looking for one.

In order to take the next step, Japanese ice officials named veteran former NHL coach Perry Pearn as head coach of the national senior and junior men’s teams in November of 2022. And the move is already paying off.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to lead the Japan national team,” Pearn said in a statement after the announcement was made.

Japan men’s ice hockey head coach Perry Pearn coached for many years in the NHL. (Japan Ice Hockey Federation)

Junior Squad’s Successful Debut Under Pearn

One of Pearn’s first assignments was guiding Japan’s Under-20 team at the 2023 IIHF U20 World Championship Division 1 Group B tournament in Bytom, Poland in December.

And the team came through with a stunning 7-4 win over Ukraine to take the gold medal and secure a place in next season’s Division 1A competition.

Such wins are hugely important to the overall men’s program. The players on the U20 team are the future stars of the senior team.

Pearn attributed Japan’s success in Poland to the team’s quickness.

“We’re not a big team but our speed and quickness is really noticeable,” Pearn told the IIHF website. 

He added, “We’re much better skaters overall than most of the teams in the tournament.”

Pearn said Japan was able to compensate for its lack of size against the bigger Europeans.

“We’re not as big as some of the teams. So we have to be really smart in terms of winning battles by playing a different way than probably a team like Ukraine is able to play,” the coach said.

Preparation Paid Off for Japan

One of Ukraine’s star players, forward Olexi Dakhnovskyi, marveled at Japan’s ability to anticipate the flow of the game, a tribute to Pearn’s coaching no doubt.

“They were the best team because they were so prepared for us,” Dakhnovskyi told IIHF after the game. 

He added, “They were the most disciplined team we faced, [and] they were ready. And it was like they knew what we were going to do on every centimeter of the rink.”

In Poland, Japan was led by Junya Owa who had three assists in the final and finished the tournament with six points to be named best defender. Forward Kotaro Murase was tied for the tournament lead with 10 points.

After the gold-medal win in Poland that included wins over South Korea, Poland and Estonia in the preliminary round, there was still more success for the juniors at the 2023 World University Games in Lake Placid, New York, in January. 

Japan opened with an 8-3 win over Latvia and beat Sweden 5-0 in a major upset. 

Two wins against two losses in the preliminary round was good enough to get Pearn’s team to the semifinals where it lost a hard-fought game 4-3 to the United States.

Japan played Kazakhstan in the bronze medal game but lost 8-1. Still, there were plenty of positives in Lake Placid, and it was more proof the Japanese men are getting more competitive at the international level.

Upcoming Test for Japan Senior Squad 

The hope now is that Pearn can do for the senior men what he has done at the junior level.

The next big test will come when the senior men’s team plays in the Ice Hockey World Championship, Division 1 Group B tournament in Estonia from April 23-29.

Currently, the elite level of international ice hockey is made up of 16 teams that contest the IIHF World Championships every spring.

This group includes powerhouses like Canada, Sweden, the United States, Finland and the Czech Republic. Russia and Belarus are currently suspended.

Other nations like Germany, Norway and Switzerland are also currently in the elite 16 and will compete at the IIHF World Championship in Finland and Latvia from May 12-28.

Below the elite level is Division 1 which has Group A and Group B. Group A teams compete for promotion to the Elite Division while Group B teams compete for promotion to Division 1 Group A.

Japan currently finds itself in Group B along with Estonia, China, the Netherlands, Serbia and Ukraine.

The goal for Japan now is to earn promotion to Group A just like the junior team did. There are also Divisions II through IV so Japan is ahead of many countries.

The Japan Under-20 men’s national team in Poland. (International Ice Hockey Federation)

A Wealth of Coaching Experience

Pearn seems to be the right man for the job.

A lifelong coach, the 71-year-old from Stettler, Alberta, has twice served as an assistant coach with Canada’s national junior team at the IIHF World Junior Championships (1990, 1991). 

Then as head coach, he led Canada ― and future Hockey Hall of Famers Paul Kariya and Chris Pronger ― to gold in 1993.

After 1993, Pearn went to coach professionally in Switzerland. He then went on to serve as an assistant coach in the NHL for 21 years with the Winnipeg Jets (twice), Ottawa Senators, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks.

He brings a wealth of experience that can only help Japan’s bid to reach the next level. 

An agreement on the establishment of the Association for the Development of Ice Hockey of Islamic Countries was signed in Kazan

Source: Kazan hockey Cup

On January 17, at the international hockey forum of the first tournament among Islamic countries, the KazanHockey cup, the first meeting of the working group of the Association for the  Development of Hockey of Islamic Countries took place.

Delegates from 13 countries, leaders of the hockey federations of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria, Oman, Bahrain, Iran, Mongolia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkey and representatives of the Ice Hockey Federation of the Republic of Tatarstan agreed on cooperation and interaction in the development of hockey, organization of joint sports tournaments, exchange of experience between federations.

The President of the Tatarstan Ice Hockey Federation, Nail Maganov , was elected as the head of the international Association with headquarters in Kazan  . President of the Ice Hockey Federation of Kyrgyzstan Anvar Omorkanov was elected Vice-President in the Asian region, President of  the UAE Winter Sports Federation  Hamel Al- Qubeisi was elected Vice-President in the Middle East region .

The purpose of the organization is the development of hockey in states with the leading religion of Islam, the development and popularization of hockey in the regions of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Cooperation will allow countries to adopt the experience of Russian hockey, train players, coaches and referees and gain access to methods for training young hockey players.

Anvar Omorkanov , President of the Ice Hockey Federation of Kyrgyzstan:

– Tatarstan has a long history of hockey development, there is the country’s leading club Ak Bars, where the best hockey players of the country play, the best training conditions have been created for the players on the basis of the team. We are amazed at the level of infrastructure for children’s and adult hockey, and we are also very pleased that we were able to take part in such a tournament.

Cooperation with the Ice Hockey Federation of Tatarstan will be a great impetus for the development of hockey in Islamic countries. By adopting the experience of the leaders of the hockey world, our colleagues from the Middle East and Africa will be able to do even more to promote and develop our game.

There are still many Islamic countries in the world where hockey is also played, and our organization will grow. One of the goals of the association is to include hockey in the Islamic Solidarity Games, which will give our sport even more momentum.

Hamel Al-Qubeisi , President of the UAE Winter Sports Federation:

– Many thanks to Kazan and Tatarstan for their hospitality, we thank the participants for the tournament, the forum and our meeting. We are glad that now our cooperation in the field of hockey is reaching a new level. The popularity of hockey in our countries is growing, in the UAE the demand for classes already exceeds our capabilities, especially hockey is attractive to girls.

The conditions of Tatarstan for the development of sports impressed all the guests, and it was not in vain that we chose Kazan as the headquarters of our new organization. It is the northernmost capital of the Islamic world and the hockey leader among Muslim regions. We are confident that through our joint work we will achieve high results and do our best for the development of hockey in the world.

The First Hockey Tournament Among Teams of Islamic Countries & The Republic of Tatarstan

Source: The Ice Hockey Federation of the Republic of Tatarstan

From January 14 to January 17, the first ice hockey tournament among teams of Islamic countries and the Republic of Tatarstan will be held in the city of Kazan at Tatneft Arena and the Sports Palace. The event was organized following the decisions of the international summit “Russia – Islamic World: Kazan Summit 2022”.

12 male and 5 female amateur teams will take part in the competition. Hockey players from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Oman, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan will play in the men’s division, players from Algeria, Morocco and Lebanon will form a combined team. Tatarstan will be represented by the Ak Bars team and the hockey team of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Republic of Tatarstan. The men’s teams are divided into three divisions. They will play each other in a round-robin format.

On January 17 at 19:00, a gala match will take place on the ice of the Tatneft Arena, in which the best players of each team will take part

Athletes from Tatarstan, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain will compete in the women’s Division. The five women’s teams will play in one group, and the two best of teams will advance to the final

The opening match of the tournament will be held on January 14 at the Sports Palace at 13:00.

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