Pakistan men's hockey team qualifies for 2018 World Cup to be held in India
Pakistan qualifies for the upcoming 2018 Hockey World Cup despite finishing seventh in the World Hockey League semi-finals.
What's the story?
Even after a disastrous spell at the 2017 Hockey World League, Pakistan have somehow bagged themselves a place in the 2018 World Cup. The FIH confirmed the news in a tweet.
The Men's Hockey World Cup is scheduled to be held in 2018 between November 28th and December 16th. This time, India will be the host nation for the grand event.
In case you didn't know...
The FIH Hockey World League is the international field hockey competition that is organised by the International Hockey Federation. This competition, which is held over the span of two years, serves as a qualifier for the Olympic Games and the Hockey World Cup.
The heart of the matter
The Pakistani team currently holds the 14th position in the FIH Hero World Rankings. They finished 7th in the Hero Hockey World League Semi-Final that was held in London, which was the deciding factor of their qualification.
According to the FIH regulations, the team which wins its continental qualifier will automatically qualify for the World Cup. The Rabobank EuroHockey Championships results, which are now taking place in Amsterdam, Netherlands, have proved to be in favour of Pakistan, as all four of the semi-finalists including Germany, Belgium, England and Netherlands. have already qualified for the upcoming World Cup via the Hockey World League route.
This, therefore, means that the World Cup ticket will go to the highest placed finisher from the Hockey World League Semi-Finals that has not already achieved qualification for the World Cup qualification.
This is where Pakistan had the upper hand, as it finished in 7th place in London in the semi finals while ranking higher than France (who finished seventh in Johannesburg) who was next in line to win the coveted qualification ticket.
Pakistan has now become the 13th team to qualify for next year’s World Cup. The team joins other countries that comprise India - the host nation, Argentina, Canada, Australia, England, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Malaysia and New Zealand.
Pakistan's return to the World Cup after their failure to qualify for the 2014 edition will hopefully be a timely boost for the fallen giants of the game. With the 2018 World Cup just around the corner, Hockey fans and especially fans of the Pakistani team have a lot to look forward to, with the hope that their team will make their nation proud.