Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pakistan Looking for a World Cup Place without Playing Qualifying Round

Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has made an official request to International Hockey Federation (FIH) to increase the number of participating teams in Hockey World Cup 2010 from 12 to 16. In fact, the Hockey World Cup 2002, which held in Kuala Lumpur, featured 16 teams, but FIH later on dropped the number of participants to 12. As of now, the next world cup 2010 will feature 12 teams, but it has been reported that FIH may accept PHF’s request by increasing the number of competing teams in the tournament.

In fact, some of the top PHF officials met FIH president Leandro Negre in Malaysia earlier this month and talked about this matter. If FIH agrees to increase the number to 16, then Pakistan would earn an automatic world cup berth as the second best team from Asia. Pakistan became runner up in this year’s Asia Cup, losing to South Korea in the final. So, South Africa has guaranteed their place in the world cup, while Pakistan would have to go though qualifying round in order to clinch a place in the world cup if the number of team remains 12. However, nothing is confirmed in this regard whether FIH would definitely accept Pakistan’s request.

To be honest, I also think that the number of participating teams should be increased to 16 because field hockey is not yet a very popular game in all parts of the world. So, for the development of the game, FIH should ensure the involvement of as much teams in its elite tournament as possible.

Related article:

Times of India

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