THE Project 2013's quest to qualify for the New Delhi Junior World Cup next year just became a notch harder as only two berths will be made available in the Malacca Junior Asia Cup on May 3-13.
Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) secretary general Tan Sri P. Alagendra, who was in Barcelona for the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Executive Board meeting over the weekend, came back with this piece of bad news.
"We discussed the matter in Barcelona and FIH has provisionally agreed to only two teams from the Junior Asia Cup in Malacca qualifying for the World Cup as only nine teams are registered for the tournament.
"However, FIH might review that quota after looking at other continental qualifiers at a later date," said Alagendra.
India, as hosts, have already qualified and are in Group B with Pakistan, China and Bangladesh of the Junior Asia Cup.
Malaysia are in Group A with South Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka and Iran.
"Thailand's withdrawal and Singapore's inability to field a team has prompted FIH to come to that decision.
"However, the AHF is still in discussion with Singapore, and have appealed to them to field a side and make it into a 10-team tournament," said Alagendra.