The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) is looking forward to a series against archrivals India despite a decision by the sport’s governing body to bar the country from hosting any event for four years.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) banned India following the merger of two parallel bodies - Hockey India (HI) and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF).
However, the PHF, which confirmed that Pakistan will take part in a four-nation tournament in India from September 19 immediately after the Asian Champions Trophy in China, said that it was waiting for the government’s approval and was still interested in travelling to India.
“We want to play against India,” PHF President Qasim Zia told The Express Tribune. “We have our counsel-general in New Delhi working on the documents that are required. This event is now being viewed as a bilateral tournament therefore it should not be a concern for the FIH.”
Zia added that the tournament should not be affected by the ongoing talks between India and the FIH since Pakistan was only dealing with HI officials who are recognised by the world body. “Pakistan will benefit from any opportunity that helps the team prepare for next year’s Olympics and we want to give our players maximum exposure.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2011.