KARACHI: Pakistan Hockey Federation’s (PHF) efforts to bring back international hockey to the country received a big blow when two teams refused to come over for a four-nation event that had been scheduled in late September.
The FIH-approved Four-Nation tournament scheduled to be held in Lahore is in jeopardy because Bangladesh and Kazakhstan have informed PHF and AHF that they would not participate in the event, which was scheduled from September 26-30.
FIH had assured the PHF that the event would be held in Pakistan and if some countries were not ready, others would be asked to participate.
FIH and AHF have assured PHF of all possible help to revive international hockey events in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s training camp for Asian Hockey Champions Trophy will begin on September 20. It is expected that the camp will be held in Lahore.
The Trophy is scheduled to be held in Oman from October 18-28.
This will be Pakistan’s only opportunity before the World Cup to finalise their preparation and line-up.
It is expected that the training camp will have 25 to 30 players.
The other teams will be defending champions India, Asian Games Gold medallists Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, and hosts Oman.
The event is being held for the first time in Oman, at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat. The Oman Hockey Association will be the host of the tournament.
The last edition was won by India, who beat Pakistan in the final in Kuantan, Malaysia, in 2016.
This will be the biggest Asian hockey event prior to the World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in Bhubaneswar, India, from November 28 to December 16, 2018.
Informed sources said that head coach Roelant Oltmans has submitted his report about performance in Asian Games to PHF. Manager Hasan Sardar will submit his report in a couple of days.
Pakistan were defeated by Japan in the Asian Games semi-final and later also failed against archrivals India in the bronze medal match.