Pakistan ruled out of Junior Hockey World Cup

Pakistan would not be participating in the upcoming junior World Cup hockey after the International Hockey Federation (FIH) officially announced Malaysia as its replacement late on Monday night.

Pakistan last played a world-level event in India in 2014.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Pakistan would not be participating in the upcoming junior World Cup hockey after the International Hockey Federation (FIH) officially announced Malaysia as its replacement late on Monday night.

The FIH in an official mail confirmed that it had extended an invite to Malaysia, one of the stand-by teams, as a late replacement for the event came it had to officially withdraw Pakistan's invitation.





“FIH regrets that Pakistan's men’s junior team will not be able to take part in this year’s Hockey Junior World Cup even though they had officially qualified. FIH's decision follows considerable discussions with the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and requests for confirmation that they had the necessary arrangements in place to be able to participate in the event,” the FIH said in an official communique.

While reports from Pakistan claimed that it was the Indian High Commission that had delayed visas, the international body claimed that visas had been applied for much after the official deadline and till date the PHF had made no arrangements or requests for accommodation. The team had to confirm its participation by November 17 but had received a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Pakistan government only after that.

“Despite a number of correspondence and reminders, the PHF was not able to show that their team would be able to travel to Lucknow for the event which begins in only a few days’ time,” the FIH said, adding that contractual obligations meant Monday was the last day for FIH to ensure a full field of 16 teams. The JWC is scheduled to be held in Lucknow from December 8-18, 2016. The tournament would have been the first major world-level event for a Pakistan team in India since the 2014 Champions Trophy that saw relations getting sour between the two teams, even though Pakistan did win the SAF Games earlier this year in Guwahati.