KARACHI: The Pakistan hockey team is all set to begin its journey for the 2016 Rio Olympics with two practice matches against Ireland in Antwerp, Belgium before taking part in the qualifiers which get under way on June 20.
The Greenshirts are likely to fly off to the venue on June 15, where they are scheduled to play the two practice matches on June 16 and June 18.
“The team was supposed to play five matches — three against the USA and two with Ireland — but as the team will be flying off late, we will have to miss three of those games,” head coach Shahnaz Sheikh told The Express Tribune.
“The delay occurred because of financial constraints faced by the Pakistan Hockey Federation [PHF] and the issuance of visas. The team is expected to receive visas on June 14 and will fly off the following day,” he added.
Meanwhile, the PHF will be holding two-day trials for the selection of the final 18-member squad for the Hockey World League semi-finals — which will serve as Olympic qualifiers.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2015.
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