Hockey World Cup: Pakistan reschedules travel plans

The Pakistan Hockey team postpones travel plans to the Hockey World Cup owing to visa issues.

As per the new schedule prepared by the Pakistan Hockey Federation, the team will reach New Delhi on November 24 and then fly out to Bhubaneswar the same evening or the next day morning.   -  Special Arrangement

The Pakistan hockey team, which was supposed to reach India next Wednesday for the Hockey World Cup, has postponed its travel plans by three days.

As per the new schedule prepared by the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), the team will reach New Delhi on November 24 and then fly out to Bhubaneswar the same evening or the next day morning. The extra days will allow the PHF to sort out the visas for the entire contingent.

RELATED| Pakistan gets Indian visa for Hockey World Cup, sponsors release team anthem

While the Indian High Commission has already issued 22 visas to the Pakistan team, three members – the head coach, Tauqir Dar, assistant coach Danish Kaleem and player, Irfan Junior – are yet to receive their visas.

“We were initially planning to go on November 21 (next Wednesday), but then we are still awaiting three visas. We wanted to avoid uncertainty. So, we thought that it would be better if the team goes together on November 24 (next Saturday),” former Pakistan captain and the secretary of PHF, Shahbaz Ahmed, told Sportstar on Sunday.

“The initial plan was to reach 10 days before and get acclimatise to the conditions. But, we play our first match on December 1, so we agreed to change the plan. Since it is a World Cup, it is better to prepare here because if we reach India 10 days before the first game, there is a possibility that the players might get home sick,” he added.

RELATED| Pakistan announces squad for Hockey World Cup

Pakistan’s captain, Mohammed Rizwan, also admitted that it is important that the coaching staff travel with the team for the important tournament.

“If the coach or manager doesn’t come with the team, it would definitely have an impact. So, it was decided to reschedule our travel plans so that we can go together,” Rizwan said.

Pakistan has been drawn alongside Germany, Malaysia and The Netherlands in Pool D and will begin its campaign against Germany on December 1 at Bhubaneswar's Kalinga Stadium.

  Dugout videos