Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) President Qasim Zia has dismissed hopes of Pakistan hosting the Champions Trophy after the December event was moved out of India following the merger of two parallel bodies in the country.
According to Zia, Pakistan wants to send out a positive signal to the world telling teams that it is ready to host international matches but the federation wanted to take things slow and has planned a series against China in December.
CT may still happen in India
“I have a feeling that the International Hockey Federation (FIH) will sort the matter out with the Indian officials and the Champions Trophy will happen in New Delhi,” Zia told The Express Tribune. “The FIH doesn’t have the time to rearrange things but the situation will be clear by the end of the month.
“We would’ve requested the event to be shifted to Pakistan but logistics – including the availability of just one synthetic stadium in Lahore – is the biggest problem.”
‘Not enough time’
He added that since the event is in December it would be impossible for the PHF to make arrangements in time even if the teams do agree to visit the country.
“We’re taking one country at a time. We can’t host big events right now but we can ensure we get international matches back in Pakistan. For this, we have a three-match series against China in December.”
The FIH, meanwhile, is still contemplating a suitable venue for the Champions Trophy, according to its competition manager Martyn Gallivan. The decision, according to Gallivan, will be announced in the next two weeks.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2011.