With tensions between India and Pakistan hitting cultural and sporting ties, the Pakistan Hockey Federation is yet to get clearance from the Pakistan government to send the hockey team for the FIH Junior World Cup to be held in Lucknow in December.
PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmed told reporters that the junior hockey team would only travel to India if the government gives the green signal.
“Given the existing relations between the two countries we have asked the Pakistan Sports Board to get us clearance for the tournament,” he said.
Ahmed said that the Junior World Cup was of great importance for the future of Pakistan hockey. “We will go if the government says we can go, but we are concerned specially after the way the Indians didn’t allow Pakistan to send its team for the ongoing Kabbadi Championship in Ahmedabad,” the PHF secretary said.
Even the relationship between the hockey federations has not been great after the 2014 Champions Trophy, when Pakistani players went overboard with their celebrations after winning the semi-final against India. Hockey India wanted a formal apology from Pakistan and also threatened not to play any bilateral matches until then.
However, Ahmed said that the chapter was behind them. “We are now focusing on the Junior World Cup and the Asian Champions Trophy in Malaysia this month because in both events, India is involved,” he said.