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Hockey Sports

Malaysia replace Pakistan in Junior Hockey World Cup

LAHORE: Pakistan junior Hockey team on Monday was forced to withdraw from next month’s junior world cup after Indian Authorities denied visa for Pakistan junior hockey team.

Junior Hockey World Cup is scheduled to be played from 8th to 18th December in Indian city Lucknow. The government of Pakistan had already granted NOC to Pakistan Hockey Federation for participation in the tournament.

However, the Indian High Commission kept Pakistan Hockey Federation and players of Pakistan junior Hockey team waiting for the visa till Monday, the deadline for PHF to confirm the participation in the event.

In the given scenario, Federation of International Hockey (FIH) was forced to withdraw Pakistan’s name from the tournament. Malaysia’s junior team has been invited to replace Pakistan.

“FIH regrets that Pakistan’s men’s junior team will not be able to take part in this year’s Uttar Pradesh Hockey Junior World Cup even though they had officially qualified,” said FIH in a statement on Monday night.

“FIH’s decision follows considerable discussions with the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and requests for confirmation that they had the necessary arrangements in place to be able to participate in the event,” the statement added.

An official of Pakistan Hockey Federation has expressed disappointment at the FIH decision.

“We are disappointed, but this thing is beyond our control, we did our best to make our participation possible in the event,” said an official of PHF

The FIH, which is headed by India’s Dr. Narendra Batra, has blamed Pakistan for “applying visas after the deadline”.

“Visas had been applied for after the official deadline and no accommodation was confirmed within the set deadlines. Despite a number of correspondence and reminders, the PHF was not able to show that their team would be able to travel to Lucknow for the event which begins in only a few days’ time,” the FIH statement said.

However, the PHF official confirmed that visa application was submitted on 24th of last month and since then, they’re still waiting to hear anything from authorities on visa.

FIH has invited Malaysia to participate in the tournament, replacing Pakistan in the draw.