The Vindico Arena in Cardiff has been awarded a men's ice hockey Olympic Qualification Preliminary Round tournament ©Getty Images

Great Britain has been awarded a Men's Olympic Qualification Preliminary Round tournament in ice hockey for Milan Cortina 2026, due to be held in Cardiff in February.

The Vindico Arena in the Welsh capital is set to be the venue for hosts Britain, Romania, China and a qualifier from the previous round from February 8 to 11.

The winner of the four-team round robin is set to advance to a Final Olympic Qualification tournament.

Ice Hockey UK chief executive Henry Staelens is confident the host nation will be well-supported at the tournament.

"It’s going to be a special event and great to be taking GB men’s competitive hockey to Cardiff, who have been really good to work with during our conversations with them," he said.

"I’m sure the fans will pack the place out and create a brilliant atmosphere as we aim to progress to the next round."

Britain also held a tournament at this stage of qualifying for Beijing 2022 in Nottingham.

Britain has not qualified for men's ice hockey at the Winter Olympics since St Mortiz 1948 ©Getty Images
Britain has not qualified for men's ice hockey at the Winter Olympics since St Mortiz 1948 ©Getty Images

Britain, the Olympic gold medallists at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, has not qualified for the Games in men's ice hockey since St. Moritz 1948.

Three second round Olympic Qualification Preliminary tournaments are due to be held in December in Iceland's capital Reykjavik, Tilburg in The Netherlands and Serbia's capital Belgrade.

In addition to Cardiff, Székesfehérvár in Hungary and Sosnowiec in Poland are also scheduled to stage tournaments in February in the final round of pre-qualifying.

Each of the winners will advance to Final Olympic Qualification tournaments due to be held in Slovakia's capital Bratislava, Latvia's capital Riga and a Danish city from August 29 to September 1 next year.

The three winners are set to qualify for Milan Cortina 2026, along with hosts Italy and the top eight teams in the International Ice Hockey Federation world rankings.

The schedule for women's qualification is still to be announced.

Men's ice hockey at Milan Cortina 2026 is due to be played at the under-construction PalaItalia Santa Giulia in Milan, while women's ice hockey is set to be held at the Fiera Milano Rho, after work to renovate the abandoned PalaSharp was brought to a standstill.