THE Junior Asia Cup received a big boost before the opening matches today, as the International Hockey Federation (FIH) have eventually agreed to give Asia four spots to the Junior World Cup.
The FIH decision was made on April 8, but somehow, it got lost in the world of information, as neither the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) nor the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) were privy to the decision earlier.
AHF had announded in early April that only three spots, including that if Junior World Cup hosts India, will be available in the Malacca tournament.
However, now if India also make the semi-finals, all four teams will play in New Delhi in November.
"“While it is good that Asia have been given four places, that still does no shake our aim to win the Asian Junior title for the first time,” said Malaysian team manager Mirnawan Nawawi.
“The news has eased the pressure on teams here, but with Pakistan, India, South Korea, Japan, China and Malaysia somewhat of same standards, it will be a keen battle to fill up the four places,” addded Mirnawan.
Eight teams are competing in Malacca, with South Korea, Malaysia, Japan and Iran in Group A, while Group B comprises of Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and China.
With 16 teams in the 2013 Junior World Cup, Africa has been allotted two places, the same for Oceania and Pan America. Europe has the lions share of awarded six.
For the Women’s Junior World Cup, Africa has been allotted two places, the same as Oceania. Europe has six spots while Asia and Pan America have three spots each.