For Shariq Khan and family, it turned out to be a big setback when they came to know about the non-participation of Pakistan in the Junior Men’s Hockey World Cup, beginning on December 8 in Lucknow.
They were in the process of making arrangements for some mouthwatering eatables for his distant cousin, who was one of the probables in the Pakistan squad. Visit of historical monuments like ‘Bhul Bhilaya’ at Bada Imambara was part of the plan, besides the preparation of delicious ‘galawati kebabs’ at home.
- Pakistan Hockey Team applied for visas after the deadline had passed
- Pakistan will be replaced by Malaysia in the Junior Hockey World Cup
- Pakistan government had provided the NOC to participate
He refused to name his cousin. “Now, it makes no sense to take his name, but we were really excited to greet him with our traditional Lucknowite culture, especially Nawabi cuisines,” he added.
“It’s really disappointing as we were ready to give a warm reception to Pakistan side, including our distant cousin,” Shariq told HT soon after the International Hockey Federation (FIH) announced withdrawal of its invitation given to Pakistan following their failure to meet deadlines. Malaysia has instead been invited to take their place in the 16-team field.
“FIH regrets that Pakistan’s men’s junior team will not be able to take part in this year’s Uttar Pradesh Hockey Junior World Cup even though they had officially qualified,” said FIH release, adding, “FIH’s decision follows considerable discussions with the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and requests for confirmation that they had the necessary arrangements in place to be able to participate in the event.”
“For us, Pakistan too was welcomed like others. For this sudden development, PHF as well as the FIH are the better authorities to tell you the actual reasons behind this
The release claimed that “visas had been applied for after the official deadline and no accommodation was confirmed within the set deadline”. “Despite a number of correspondence and reminders, the PHF was not able to show that their team would be able to travel to Lucknow for the event,” the FIH said.
The release said FIH had to take this decision in view of substantial contractual obligations to its partners to deliver a full number of matches. A late withdrawal by Pakistan would have left FIH with insufficient time to rush in a replacement.
“For us, Pakistan too was welcomed like others. For this sudden development, PHF as well as the FIH are the better authorities to tell you the actual reasons behind this,” organizing secretary and UP Hockey’s secretary RP Singh told HT.
In fact, PHF had confirmed the participation of its team in the mega event here only last week when it announced to have the clearance from the government to send its national junior team to Lucknow for the FIH Junior World Cup.
A reliable was quoted as saying that PHF had said that the ministry of inter-provincial coordination has informed the federation that the government has given the NOC for participating in the December 8-18 Junior World Cup.
Certainly, the non-participation of Pakistan team in the mega event, happening in India for the second time after New Delhi hosting in 2013, would cut short the number of fans for the mega event as for Lucknowites, a clash between India and Pakistan even between the junior siders in hockey means a lot.