Pakistan will be invited for Hockey World Cup: FIH Chief Batra | Kashmir Sports Watch  

Pakistan will be invited for Hockey World Cup: FIH Chief Batra

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NEW DELHI: Pakistan will be invited to participate in the 2018 World Cup in India from November 28 to December 16, International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Narinder Batra said here on Thursday, as Hockey India (HI) announced its five-year association with the Odisha state government to sponsor both the men’s and women’s teams.pak-junior-hockey
There was speculation that Pakistan may not be allowed to travel to India due to the hostile political relations between the two countries. However, Batra informed that since the World Cup – to be played in Bhubaneswar – is an FIH-sanctioned event, Pakistan will come to play at the event “provided they adhere to certain procedures”.
Pakistan qualified for the World Cup after finishing seventh at the Hockey World League (HWL) semifinals in London, followed by some results of other teams at the EuroHockey Championships going their way. Pakistan had failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup staged in The Hague, the Netherlands.
“Pakistan will be invited because it’s an FIH-sanctioned event. We have taken the necessary permissions from the external affairs ministry. There are certain rules and procedures in which participating nations have to apply for visas 60 days prior to the start of the tournament. There are other procedures which Pakistan will have to follow,” Batra said.
It’s been learnt that the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has requested the Indian High Commission in Islamabad to process the visas of their players and officials on time so to avoid any last-minute glitch. It’s to be noted that Pakistan’s junior team failed to participate in the Junior Hockey World Cup in Lucknow in 2016 as, according to the FIH, the PHF had applied for the players’ visas after the official deadline had expired.