IIHF says China can enter men’s team in Beijing Olympic hockey tournament | CBC Sports

China will participate in men’s Olympic hockey at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, the International Ice Hockey Federation said Tuesday after having previously expressed concerns about the team’s quality.

As the host nation, China is guaranteed a spot in each event at the Games but the IIHF said in September there were doubts over the Chinese team’s participation due to its “insufficient sporting standard.”

On Tuesday, the IIHF said its council completed a two-day meeting in Zurich, where it discussed the status of the Chinese team and Olympic venue preparations among other topics ahead of the Feb. 4-20 Games.

“The council confirmed that it will uphold the decision by the 2018 IIHF Congress to grant the Chinese men’s national team a host qualification position in the 2022 Olympic Games,” the IIHF said in a statement.

IIHF president Luc Tardif had said China’s participation would hinge on player eligibility rules and the performance of the Kunlun Red Star, a China-based team stocked with Olympic hopefuls competing in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.

With Norway waiting in the wings to step in as a replacement, the Chinese Ice Hockey Association submitted up-to-date eligibility documents before the deadline which were then reviewed by the IIHF along with the expert evaluation report.

China is in Group A along with nine-time Olympic champion Canada, United States and Germany.

WATCH | Canada GM discusses Olympic roster decisions:

Canadian Olympic men’s hockey power rankings: Ep. 04 – Doug Armstrong

Rob Pizzo decided the time was right to speak to the man responsible for putting together Canada’s Olympic hockey team. 8:17

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