Nov 2 (Reuters) - The Chinese men's crystal hockey squad volition not beryllium removed from the tourney astatine adjacent year's Winter Olympics successful Beijing, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) said connected Tuesday.
China is guaranteed a spot successful the crystal hockey tourney owed to its presumption arsenic big nation, but IIHF president Luc Tardif said successful September that the men's squad could beryllium prevented from playing owed to its "insufficient sporting standard".
Tardif, who had besides raised concerns that the anticipation of China being comfortably beaten successful each their matches successful Beijing would adversely impact the tourney and the athletics of crystal hockey successful general, has present rowed backmost connected his earlier comments.
"To beryllium clear, the IIHF is not going to region the Chinese squad from the Olympic Games, the presumption of the men's nationalist squad arsenic a big federation subordinate successful the Olympic crystal hockey tourney was confirmed by Congress and remains unchanged," helium told the IIHF Council astatine a gathering successful Zurich.
"We are moving with the CIHA (Chinese Ice Hockey Association) to corroborate their subordinate eligibility according to IIHF rules, and we volition proceed to assistance them arsenic they enactment towards preparing their squad for the Olympic Games."
The IIHF added successful a connection that it was moving with the CIHA to docket 2 games with the Chinese men's squad arsenic portion of efforts to measure their preparations for the Games.
Eligible nationalist Chinese squad players volition vie arsenic portion of the Kunlun Red Star squad successful Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) games connected Nov. 15 and 17, aft which the IIHF Council volition reconvene to sermon the adjacent steps guardant for the team.
Reporting by Simon Jennings successful Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris
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