Pakistan will travel to India to take part in the Hockey World Cup which is scheduled to be played in Bhubaneshwar in November-December this year. This ends the speculation of Pakistan not coming to India to play the World Cup due to hostile political relations between the two countries. India last hosted the Hockey World Cup in 2010 in which Pakistan played.
“Pakistan will be invited because it’s an FIH-sanctioned event. We have taken the necessary permissions from the external affairs ministry. There are certain rules and procedures in which participating nations have to apply for visas 60 days prior to the start of the tournament. There are other procedures which Pakistan will have to follow,” TOI quoted FIH president Narinder Batra saying.
Pakistan had failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup which was played in The Hague, Netherlands and their return to the premier competition is a positive sign for Pakistan and Asian hockey. They qualified for the tournament by finish seventh at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals in London and then getting the benefit of the EuroHockey Championships.
The World Cup in India will be played from November 28 to December 16 and India will be looking to give a good performance at home. Their one and only title-winning run came way back in 1975 but since then they have not won the gold medal.
Pakistan, on the other hand, is the most successful team in tournament history, having won the title a record four times. They also have two silver-medal finish. Pakistan won the title in 1971, 1978, 1982 and 1994. Two other teams — Netherlands and Australia — have won the gold medal on three occasions each.