On January 7, the winner of the Christmas ice hockey amateur tournament for the prize of the President will be determined at Chizhovka Arena. Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates won bronze in the third-place match.
Guests from the Gulf have beaten a very strong opponent – Slovakia – with the score 4:3.
In 2016, the Slovaks won third place at the Christmas tournament but this year gave way to the UAE, for whom this is the third tournament.
Generally, the UAE's performance at the XIII Christmas tournament could be called a big sensation.
This suggests that the popularity of ice hockey in the UAE is rising as well as the level of players is increasing. It happens including thanks to the help of Belarusian specialists,
as well as the establishment of the Abu Dhabi Sports Club of Ice Competitions.
Omar Al Shamsi, forward of the hockey team of the United Arab Emirates:
From the first day we realized that the level of the organization of the tournament, the level of the teams is very high, so we realized that we must aim for the bronze. We have strived for this purposefully and eventually won.
On January 7 evening, Minsk's Chizhovka Arena will host the final of the competition, in which Belarus will take on Finland, which will repeat the 2016 final of the tournament. Last year, Belarus prevailed winning narrowly 2:1.