The International Hockey Federation, which is now headed by India’s Narinder Batra, has invited Malaysia as a replacement team.
Pakistan’s junior hockey team, which had initially confirmed participation, did not manage to get visas, nor did they confirm any logistical details, like accommodation, to the host country India.
After taking over as the boss of the International Hockey Federation, Narinder Batra had said while he had no issues with the Pakistan team participating in India, it was up to the two countries to take a final call on the matter.
“FIH regrets that Pakistan’s men’s junior team will not be able to take part in this year’s Uttar Pradesh Hockey Junior World Cup even though they had officially qualified,” the statement said.
“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,” it said.
“Visas had been applied for after the official deadline and no accommodation was confirmed within the set deadlines. 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 statement added.
“FIH has substantial contractual obligations to its partners to deliver a full number of matches at the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh Hockey Junior World Cup Men. With the event starting in only a few days’ time, today was the last possibility for FIH to ensure the quality of the event, with a full complement of 16 teams playing in Lucknow,” the statement said.
(With inputs from PTI)