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.

About The Author

Steven took a different route towards his hockey interests. Starting out as a big Habs fan, he started to gravitate towards the more obscure levels of hockey, such as the low level tournaments in Asia, strange club matches between teams most people in North America can’t pronounce, and even some 3am contests between Bulgaria and New Zealand. Aside from his love for strange hockey events, Steven occasionally acts as a mediocre ball hockey goalie following a failed attempt at making it to the NHL as a fourth line house league grinder. Beyond hockey, Steven is an avid racing fan and loves to chat about NASCAR, F1, Indycar, you name it. Oh, and don’t get him started on music. That is, unless you want the whole history of metal and a guitar lesson. Currently, Steven is a credentialed media member with the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL, as well as with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL. Steven has also hosted the television show "The Hockey House" on TVCogeco in Ontario, as well as a segment under the same with on LeafsTV in Toronto. Home page: http://www.thehockeyhouse.net

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