Pakistan Hockey Federation has finally got clearance from the government to send its national junior team to Lucknow for the FIH Junior World Cup next month.
A reliable source in the PHF said that the ministry of inter-provincial coordination has informed the federation that the government has given the NOC for participating in the December 8-18 Junior World Cup.
“The PHF officials were anxious about getting the NOC to send its team to India next month as the FIH event is scheduled from December 8 to 18th and it is an important event for the future of Pakistan hockey. But now the ministry has informed the PHF that the government has given the clearance,” the source said.
He said given the current tension between the two countries, the PHF had genuine concerns whether they would get clearance to play in India. “The PHF has already set up camp for the junior team in Lahore under the supervision of Olympian Tahir Zaman and they have high hopes that the team would do well in India,” the source said.
There was more good news for Pakistan hockey as a cheque of 20 million rupees was also released as a special grant by the government for the cash strapped PHF during of a meeting PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmed had with Pakistan Sports Board officials in Islamabad.
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The PHF is confident of a good show from its junior team in Lucknow as the under-21 players recently played in the final of a top ranking tournament in Malaysia. They lost 1-3 to Australia but did well overall.
Pakistan has in the past taken part in the senior World Cup, Commonwealth Games hockey tournament and Champions Trophy on Indian soil in the last few years.