Pakistan has lost the rights to host its national game’s Olympic qualifying round for the 2024 Olympics as the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has withdrawn the hosting rights from the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF).
The FIH made the decision citing Pakistani government’s non-cooperation and interference in the affairs of the PHF as the primary reasons for the decision. In a press statement issued on Tuesday it said, “International events necessitate government cooperation and support, provided by Pakistan’s government, the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination, and the Pakistan Sports Board. Organizing an event like the Olympic Qualifier without the Government of Pakistan’s support is impossible. Hence, the hosting of the Olympic qualifier event in Pakistan is being withdrawn”.
Pakistan was to host the qualifying round in January 2024 in Lahore
It could have paved the way for the country to easily qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Pakistan marked its return to host the prestigious event after many years since the 1990 World Cup and the 1994 Champions Trophy. India had been vocal against the decision to host the qualifying round in Pakistan. India had also raised concerns over the hockey infrastructure available in Pakistan especially in Lahore where the event was scheduled to be hosted.
Read Also | Health update on Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah
Pakistan has recently improved its FIH men’s International ranking, securing the 15th position all over the world. However, this setback could push back the progress made in the sport in the country. PHF fears that if the current issues persist, Pakistan could also loose the hosting rights to next year’s South Asian Games.
The PHF has been embroiled in a tussle with the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) as well as a no-confidence motion against its incumbent secretary Haider Hussain.
The qualifying round is now expected to be hosted in India.