Just a few weeks ago, the United Arab Emirates managed to take home the silver medal at the 2016 Challenge Cup of Asia, just falling short to the Chinese Taipei.
That was a good moment for the team, but the excitement changed when they didn’t go to the Division III World Hockey Championships in Turkey.
The tournament, which began on Thursday with South Africa beating Luxembourg by a score of 3-2, was originally supposed to run with seven teams this year, but with UAE pulling out, they would go back to a more traditional even number of six.
The official reason as to why the Emirates had to pull out aren’t known at this point, but there is speculation that it could be due to recent terrorist attacks in Turkey.
UAE has never won at the Division III World Championships, finishing fourth, fifth and sixth in their four tournament appearances. The team has won every Gulf Cup Ice Hockey Championship, however, including the 2016 edition back in February. The country has also won two Challenge Cup of Asia events and is the only winner ever at the Arab Cup of Ice Hockey back in 2008.
Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.