Pakistan to play in Champions Trophy: PHF

Lahore, Sept 19 : The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has confirmed its team’s participation in the Champions Trophy after reports were making the rounds that it may skip the tournament as it has been shifted from Pakistan on security grounds.

PHF Secretary Khalid Mahmood has said that Pakistan would take part in the tournament despite the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) decision to hold it in some other country.

Khalid said the FIH had informed the PHF that being ranked fifth in the event, Pakistan would be a part of the Champions Trophy to be held from December 1 to 9.

For us, participating in the Trophy will help Pakistan in improving its ranking and getting useful experience. We are not considering the financial losses as a result of the shift from Lahore, but we were expecting a revival of the game in Pakistan by holding the event as the game gets a new lease when people come to the stadium to see international matches,” he said.

Khalid told the Dawn that although the PHF and the fans of the game were disgruntled over the change of venue from Lahore, it would not be wise to boycott it in any kind of protest.

Malaysia and India are the frontrunners to host the tournament, with Spain being the third candidate. However, the cold weather in the European countries during December has reduced Spain’s chance of getting the hosting rights.

There are reports of Malaysia’s offering free accommodation and transport to all the participating teams if it is chosen to host the coveted event. (With inputs from ANI)