Friday, December 18, 2009

...but the Indians know better

LAHORE: The India Hockey Federation has expressed its inability to the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to organise a four-nation tournament, a dress rehearsal, before hosting the 2010 World Cup, mainly because it was facing problems in making security arrangements due to the participation of the Pakistan team in the quadrangular tournament.
Well informed sources told Dawn that the IHF asked the FIH that though it could make maximum strict security arrangements for the mega event to be held in Feb-March, to organise a four-nation tournament involving Pakistan, needs extraordinary security arrangements and that could not be possible for just a dress-rehearsal competition.
The FIH had asked the IHF to organise the said tournament, with the entry of Pakistan as a must, as it would help to check security arrangements before the World Cup. The tournament was proposed for January.
The strained political relations between India and Pakistan after the Mumbai attack in Nov 2008 had suspended bilateral sports activities between the two countries. Due to it cricket ties as well hockey have been seriously affected.
The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), which is searching for some international matches desperately, as part of their preparations for the World Cup now is focusing much on the alternate plan to play some matches against European teams at neutral venues in Dubai.
Sources said a development in this regard could be made in the next couple of days.