TOKYO – The 2010 IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia will be hosted in Taipei, March 29 to April 4.
The Challenge Cup of Asia gives Asian countries that are not in the World Championship program, or that play in the lowest division, a chance to compete.
The first edition was held in Hong Kong in 2008 with six teams and won by Chinese Taipei while the 2009 edition took place in Abu Dhabi with eight teams and was won by the host, the United Arab Emirates.
During the 2010 tournament at the Taipei Arena Annex Ice Rink, also a coaching clinic is also planned.
“For the Challenge Cup, we are looking to have ten teams,” says Jukka Tiikkaja, the IIHF’s Asian Sport Development Manager. “Teams would be seeded in two groups based on earlier Challenge Cup results to play a single round robin and finals according to first-round positions (1-1, 2-2 etc.).”
Apart from the organizer, Chinese Taipei, the other teams will be Hong Kong, India, Kuwait, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.
It will be the first showing for Kuwait since they rejoined the IIHF during the Annual Congress in May 2009. Before, Kuwait played in the 1999 and 2007 Asian Winter Games and in the 2008 Arab Cup.
Chinese Taipei, Mongolia and, for the first time, the United Arab Emirates will play in Division III of the 2010 World Championship program. The Emirates will debut with their men’s national team while Chinese Taipei takes part with their U20 and U18 national teams. Mongolia will play in the men's and U18 programs.