FIH must review holding of elite hockey events in India: Jr team head coach

Need to focus on qualifying for WC: Tahir Zaman

LAHORE, Nov 29 (APP): Head coach of Pakistan Junior hockey team,
former Olympian, Tahir Zaman has urged the International Hockey
Federation (FIH) to review its decision for allocating elite international hockey tournaments to India so that it should not deprive any team of participation the way it did in the case of Pakistan by not issuing visas to the junior team.

“Indian authorities deprived Pakistan junior team of taking part in the
Junior World Hockey Cup, commencing in Lucknow from December, by not issuing visas without any valid justification or reason,” he told the media here on Tuesday at National Hockey Stadium.

He said that the PHF applied for the visas of the team weeks ago but
the Indian authorities mixed politics in sports and did not issue visas which clearly shows the intention of the Indian authorities that they want to keep Pakistan team away from the World Junior hockey cup.

“They (Indian authorities) have given an excuse that we (PHF) did not
apply for the visas timely, whereas they have included Malaysia in place of Pakistan and with few days left in the start of the Cup how would they be able to grant them (Malaysia) visas,” he questioned.

“Our team was not given visas on one pretext or another to block its
way into the World Junior Cup which is quite unfortunate and against the spirit of the game,” said the former Pakistan captain.

He said that the hockey family around the world and lovers of the game
have strongly condemned the negative act of the Indian Government for not issuing visas to the Pakistani team.

“Even the status and repute of the Word Junior Cup is at stake in the
absence of hockey team as Pakistan is among world’s best hockey team and has a glittering past in the game,” he said adding “With the absence of Pakistan from the event the broadcasters will suffer huge financial loss and the event will become colorless and less competitive.”

Tahir Zaman urged the FIH and the International Olympic Committee to
look into the matter and take remedial measures for not happening of such an incident in future in the larger interest of the games, specially hockey.

He said Pakistan government and the PHF took wise decision by allowing
its team to feature in the Junior World Cup in India despite tension at the borders and set an ideal example of fair play and spirit by keeping the sports away from politics.

“On the other hand the Indian government showed a negative gesture
and deliberately kept the Pak team away from the Cup due to which
reputation of India as a sports loving country has been damaged,” he asserted.

To a question, he said no matter Pak junior team was not among
favourite teams of the World but it was fully prepared to put up a decent show in the Cup.

“Our team has the potential to win the Cup as nothing is impossible and Pakistan players are disappointed not to be a part of the World Cup,” he added.