‘If Pakistan can play in India, why can’t we’: Hockey India secretary general Bhola Nath Singh
Pakistan is set to host an international hockey event after nearly 19 years and eight teams will compete in La-hore from January 13 to 24 next year. The event in Lahore will offer three berths to the Paris Olympic Games next year.
MUMBAI: With Pakistan scheduled to host one of the Olympic Qualifying Events for Paris 2024, India may have to visit the country if the team fails to grab a direct berth from the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
Pakistan is set to host an international hockey event after nearly 19 years and eight teams will compete in Lahore from January 13 to 24 next year. The event in Lahore will offer three berths to the Paris Olympic Games next year.
With this scenario in mind, Hockey India secretary general Bhola Nath Singh has said that if the Pakistan hock-ey team can visit India for the Asian Champions Trophy in Chennai, which ended on Sunday, the Men in Blue should also be allowed to cross the border to play hockey there.
“The Pakistan team has come here to play then why can’t we (go there)? Sports Minister is very clear on this that there will be no hindrance to tournaments like this. Cricket is cricket and hockey is hockey,” Bhola Nath Singh said in a press conference.
“If needed I will speak to the government after all it is a question of the Olympics. I don’t think there will be any hindrance to this. The rest is up to the Pakistan government and how they organize a tournament. How is the securi-ty there?” said Bhola Nath Singh.
India had last visited Pakistan in February 2006 for the 8th Indo-Pak hockey series to play three matches in Lahore, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi. The teams have since then played only in FIH events in India — the World Cup in New Delhi in 2010, the Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar in 2014 and the Asian Champions Trophy in Chennai this year. (IANS)
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