Pakistan to defend title in Asian hockey champions trophy

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LAHORE, June 1 (APP)- Pakistan will defend the title and also
aiming to go for title hat trick during the Asian hockey champions trophy being played in Kuantan, Malaysia from October 20 to 30.

The green shirts will be facing a stiff challenge from five Asian
hockey nations during the event. Pakistan is still an unbeaten force in the event due to its success in its last two editions. Pakistan beat Japan 3-1 in the last edition of the event in 2013, at Kakamigahara, in Japan before winning the title in 2012 for the first time in Doha, Qatar beating India 5-4. Pakistan lost to India 4-2 in the first edition of the Asian champions trophy in Ordos, China in 2011.

Scheduled two months after the August Olympic Games , the Men’s Asian Champions Trophy include teams of India, South Korea, Japan, China and the Malaysian hosts to pose a serious threat to the supremacy of Pakistan, said the information made available to APP here on Wednesday.

In a ceremony held on Wednesday in Kula Lumpur, the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) President Prince Abdullah Ahmad Shah and Malaysian Hockey Confederation President, Subahan Kamal formally signed the hosting agreement that confirms the hosting of the Men’s Asian Champions Trophy
2016 in Kuantan, Pahang State, Malaysia.

The Malaysian Hockey Confederation is one of the most experienced and prolific event hosts within the continent, regularly hosting FIH and AHF events.

First introduced in 2011, the Asian Champions trophy creates an equal opportunity for Asian teams to gather more high-level competition experience. Malaysian hosts have medaled in each previous edition, taking bronze in 2011, 2012 and 2013, while the team from South Korea will be making their Asian Champions Trophy debut this year.

The Asian Hockey Federation can also confirm that through a recent decision by the FIH Executive Board, Asian Champions Trophy events are included in the continental ranking element of the FIH World Ranking system from the next update. The continental rankings for Asia will be calculated across a four-year cycle, taking into account the results of Asian Games, Asia Cup and Asian Champions Trophies held during that time.

This also means that because the Asian Champions Trophy will not only be part of the system that determines continental ranking but will be included in the Qualification Systems for future Olympic Games and World Cups any team that does not play in the Asian Games / Asia Cup and Asian Champions Trophy cannot qualify for the relevant Olympic Games or World Cup.

Asian Hockey Federation CEO, Tayyab Ikram said, “We will work very closely with the Malaysian Hockey Confederation to make this event world class in all aspects, and are looking forward to a tournament that shows off the very best of Asian hockey.”