Pakistan Hockey Federation threatens pullout from World Cup in India over visas, security
Karachi, Sep 22 (PTI): The Pakistan Hockey Federation today threatened to pull out of next year's World Cup in India unless assured of "easy procurement" of visas and "top security" for its players at the event.
The Pakistan Hockey Federation President Khalid Khokar claimed to have raised these issues during his recent meetings with FIH President Narinder Batra in Dubai. The World Cup is scheduled to be held in November-December next year.
"We had a very good meeting as we conveyed all our concerns to Batra and other FIH member boards. I have made it clear to them that we want assurances from FIH that we will face no problems with the procurement of visas and will be given top security during the event," Khokar said.
"I made it clear that if we face similar problems that our junior team faced in getting visas than we will not send our team to India," he added.
He claimed that the Indian High Commission in Islamabad had refused to issue visas for the national junior team despite the PHF applying on time for the Junior World Cup earlier this year.
"Eventually our team couldn't go to India and that put our hockey back quite a lot. But this time we have told the FIH President we want complete assurances and security for the World Cup in India," he said.
Khokar said that he has spoken to Batra about the launch of a Pakistan Hockey League.
"We also spoke to Batra and other FIH members about our plans to launch the Pakistan Hockey League and sought assurances from them that foreign players will be available for the league."
"We don't want a situation where we invest a lot of money in the league and then find out other countries are reluctant to send their players to Pakistan or the FIH is not supporting our league," Khokar signed off