Pakistan hockey team has got a place in the Champions Trophy courtesy of a special request of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) President Brig. (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar to the President of International Hockey Federation (FIH) Narinder Batra.
Pakistan failed to get entry into any of the global hockey events of 2018, which is disastrous for the game in the country, so the PHF asked the FIH to allow them to play in the Champions Trophy.
“As Pakistan were unable to qualify for all major events including the World Cup and Olympics, so Khokhar made a request to the FIH president Batra, who is also the former president of Hockey India, that Pakistan should be granted an entry in the Champions Trophy to help the team grow,” PHF secretary Shahbaz Senior told The Express Tribune.
Hockey’s Champions Trophy is a six-nation tournament, however, FIH has included Pakistan in special circumstances as the seventh team.
“Pakistan needs to participate in international events to grow and this is one of those events where the top six teams of the world are available to play against,” the former Olympian told.
“Normally it is a six-team event, but Pakistan has been included as the seventh team courtesy a special request and will play against every team in the event,” he added.
Other teams that will feature in the multi-nation tournament are the hosts the Netherlands. Whereas, other spots will be finalized by the executive board of the FIH.
“Our team has enough time to prepare for the event and I am hopeful that we will be able to make a competitive team,” stated Shahbaz Senior.
“In the last Champions Trophy, we just had a month to prepare which was not enough, but this time we will be able to make a good team that will not only participate in the event, but will win matches as well,” he concluded.
The tournament will be kicked off from June 23 and will end on July 1 in the Netherlands.