Iran doesn’t have much of a hockey history, with no games played as a national team just yet. The country has participated at the FIRS Senior Men’s Inline Hockey World Championships in the past, winning their first two games at the 2011 tournament.
The team will likely be made up of Canadian and American ex-pats, with tryouts taking place in Italy from June 26th-28th. Ottawa Senators forward Mika Zibanejad is potentially the most well-known player with Iranian decent, but has played with Sweden internationally.
The full list of participants haven’t been confirmed for the Asian Winter Games, but it is believed that it will have the most teams ever in the history of the tournament. The 2011 event had Kazakhstan (gold medalists), Japan, South Korea, China and Chinese Taipei play in the top group, while Kyrgyzstan, Thailand, Bahrain, Kuwait, Mongolia, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia all played in the bottom group.
Other countries that could end up participating are Oman, Qatar, Singapore and Indonesia, but the final team listing will be confirmed at a later date.
Iran currently has three rinks, but don’t have a rink that would make them eligible for IIHF competition.
Check out this interview by Davide Tuniz at EuroHockey with Iranian captain Arsalan Monfared from back in October about the state of hockey in Iran.
Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.