Desert nation Qatar steps on international ice hockey arena; joins IIHF

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The first edition of Qatar Ice Hockey Championship 2010 in which 4 teams participated. Qatari ice hockey team participated in the Asian Winter Games in Kazakhstan. Photo - Shahjahan Moidin/Qatar Olympic Committee

Qatar has become the 71st member of the International Ice Hockey Federation, after being accepted during the Annual Congress in Helsinki this weekend.

The tiny Gulf desert nation has joined the ranks as a full member under the precondition of an audit. Qatar Ice Hockey Federation was founded in 2010 and is the third Gulf state to join the winter sports federation, following the UAE and Kuwait.

The country has two ice rinks, both located in the capital of Doha: the Villagio Ice Rink in the Aspire Zone and the City Centre Ice Rink at West Bay.

The Qatari national league, which kicked off in the 2010/2011 season, includes five teams. In addition, an ice hockey school with more than 100 registered participants has also been established.

Ice hockey in Qatar is played mostly by Canadian and American expatriates, with five teams involved in the national league.

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