First Islamic International Hockey Tournament: Tatarstan has once again asserted itself on the international arena

18 January


Kazan’s Ice Palace played host to the closing ceremony of the First International Hockey Tournament among amateur teams of the Islamic world and the Republic on 17 January.

The event was divided into three parts: a master show, followed by a match with the participants of the tournament’s best players and, at the conclusion of the gala match, special guests performance.

The unusual hockey competition took place in Kazan from 14 to 17 January. More than 300 sportsmen and functionaries from 13 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bahrain and others participated in the match. Twelve men’s and five women’s amateur teams competed for the first place in the tournament.

The competition was held in a group stage format. In the men’s net the amateur teams from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Tatarstan scored the highest number of points. The Tatarstan team was among the winners of the women’s championship.

The aim of the tournament is to consolidate cultural and humanitarian and sports ties between Russia and the countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. In addition to it, hockey competitions are an opportunity to once again assert yourself in the international arena in the context of the country’s isolation and to strengthen ties with the Islamic world, countries of the East, Asia and Africa. Besides, the international hockey tournament among teams of the Islamic world is of great importance for the Republic of Tatarstan too, since it confirms the international prestige of Tatarstan, primarily a sports one.

The competition was broadcast live by TNV channel, with constant live feeds from the event. The gala match, held at the level of the KHL All-Star Match, was attended by Rustam Minnikhanov, the President of Tatarstan, Chairman of the Group of Strategic Vision ‘Russia – Islamic World’. He gave the go-ahead for the tournament back in May at the Russia – Islamic World International Forum. As a result, it was decided to hold the first in the history hockey tournament with the participation of Islamic countries in the capital of Tatarstan. Kazan prepared for the international event very scrupulously: a special logo of the tournament was created, uniforms were designed and sewn, a separate and a new stage were assembled at Tatneft Arena, and a large number of VIP guests were invited.
In his welcoming address to the participants and guests of the First International Tournament, Rustam Minnikhanov noted that cooperation with the Islamic world had always been one of the leading areas of activity.

‘Kazan, the capital of our multinational republic, is rightly considered to be one of the sports capitals of Russia. It is a venue for prestigious sports tournaments at international and all-Russian levels.

Last year, at the state level, we celebrated a historic anniversary – the 1100th anniversary of the adoption of Islam by Volga Bulgaria. Eleven centuries ago our ancestors became an integral part of the vast Muslim world. Today, after many centuries, in the united fraternal family of the peoples of Russia, we remain faithful to the precepts of our great predecessors. Taking into account our rich hockey traditions, we are glad that another sports venue that unites the countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has emerged in the capital of Tatarstan’.

Rustam Minnikhanov expressed his hope that ‘this tournament will give an impetus to the development of hockey in the Islamic world, will contribute to the consolidation of friendship between countries and peoples, and will become another bright sporting page in the history of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’.

A few hours before the gala match, guests of honor from the countries participating in the First Islamic Countries Hockey Tournament took part in the International Forum, which was held at the Volga Region Academy of Sport. The working group meeting focused on joint activities in developing hockey and organizing sports tournaments, as well as exchanging experience between the federations.

The Forum discussed the development of hockey in the states of the Islamic world, and the development and popularization of hockey in the regions of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. It is expected that further cooperation will enable the countries to adopt the experience of Russian ice hockey, train players, coaches and referees, as well as to have an opportunity to use methods of training young ice hockey players.

As a result of the meeting, an agreement was signed to establish the Association for the Development of Hockey in Islamic countries, headquartered in Kazan. Nail Maganov, the President of the Ice Hockey Federation of the Republic of Tatarstan, was elected Head of the Association. Anvar Omorkanov, the President of the Kyrgyz Ice Hockey Federation, was confirmed as Vice-President for the Asian region, and Hamel Al-Qubaisi, the President of the UAE Winter Sports Federation, as Vice-President for the Middle Eastern region.



GSV "Russia - Islamic world"

Photo: official website of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan