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German green light for Punjab meet

The German foreign ministry has finally given the go-ahead to their men’s hockey team to participate in the Punjab Gold Cup, starting January 31 in Chandigarh, reports B Shrikant.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2009 00:00 IST
B Shrikant

The German foreign ministry has finally given the go-ahead to their men’s hockey team to participate in the Punjab Gold Cup, starting January 31 in Chandigarh.

Though the organisers had announced Germany’s participation in the event, the Deutches Hockey Bund (DHB), German hockey federation, had put the trip on hold and approached the government for security clearance following the Mumbai attacks.

Britta Schutz, High Performance Administrator of DHB informed HT in an email that the team has the nod from the ministry. “Yes, we will participate,” she said. “The foreign ministry gave the clearance a few days back.”

Schutz also said that the Germans were in constant touch with the Netherlands hockey federation over their plans to visit India for the same tournament.

This will be the first outing for the German men, ranked No. 1 in the world, since the Beijing Olympics where they added the Olympic gold to the 2006 World Championship crown they won at home.

Another good news for Indian fans is that they could get another chance to watch the World and Olympic champions in action on Indian soil in November. Germany has in principal agreed to play some Tests in India just before the Champions Trophy in Australia.

“We are still working on this. We are planning to visit New Delhi prior to the Champions Trophy in Australia. Dates are not fixed. Currently we are planning from November 17 to 23,” Schutz said.

The DHB is currently finalising its team for the Punjab Gold Cup and the squad would be announced in a couple of days. The players are currently involved with the European leagues and will assemble a few days before they leave for India.

India had last played Germany in the Moenchengladbach World Cup in 2006. The hosts won 3-2 thanks to a brace by Christopher Zeller.