Team Lebanon 'writing history' from Canadian hockey hub

Updated: Jul 27, 2019

Dozens of players from across North America currently play for Lebanese national hockey team, a grassroots initiative with hopes set on Olympics


MONTREAL, Canada - At first glance, Saturday night's hockey game was like any of the thousands of others taking place across Canada.


But as the starting rosters were read out over the arena's sound system - and fans wove red and white flags, emblazoned with a green cedar tree, enthusiastically in the stands - it was clear that something else was taking place.


The game was a chance to showcase Lebanese hockey talent - and give the close-knit community in Montreal something to cheer for.


Charles El-Mir, president of the Lebanese Ice Hockey Federation, said between 50 and 60 players – all of Lebanese descent, between ages 18 and 38 – currently play on the team.

They hail from across North America, but the majority are based in Canada, “the hub of ice hockey”, El-Mir said.

We say … that we are writing history, to be honest with you - Charles El-Mir, Lebanese Ice Hockey Federation president

Last month, the Lebanese Ministry of Youth and Sport gave the federation official accredited status in Lebanon, making it the only official body representing Lebanese ice hockey players in the world.


That status also paves the way for the federation to apply to join the Lebanese Olympic Committee and the International Ice Hockey Federation, which would open the door to international matches, including at the Olympics.