Sports

Pakistan To Host Hockey Olympic Qualifiers For The First Time In Two Decades

Pakistan are currently ranked 16th in hockey and will be eligible to compete in the qualifiers even if they fail to win the Asian Games.

Pakistan had last hosted an FIH event in 2004.
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Pakistan has been named as the host of Olympic qualifying rounds for early next year.

This will be the first time that the nation will host an an international hockey for the first time in nearly two decades.

Pakistan had last hosted an FIH event in 2004. Between January 13 to 24 next year, eight teams will visit the country in the hopes to secure a place in the multi-sport event.

Haider Hussain, the Secretary-General of the FIH, while confirming the developments, said, "Pakistani hockey fans have been deprived of seeing international hockey stars at home for 20 years now and the FIH Olympic qualifiers will no doubt boost the sport in Pakistan again."

He said that the Pakistan Hockey Federation received much-needed support from other countries in convincing FIH to allow Pakistan to host the hockey matches.

"We are happy many countries supported our stance that if international hockey returns to Pakistan it will help boost the game again in the country."

The Pakistan hockey team, unfortunately, has itself failed to qualify for the last two Olympic Games in 2016 and 2021. Hussain was, however, hopeful that the Pakistani fans turning up in large numbers could improve their team's chances of qualifying.

As per the format, five teams from Asia, seven teams from Europe, two teams from Pan America and one each from Africa and Oceania can compete to qualify. The top three teams in each tournament will then qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Pakistan are currently ranked 16th in hockey and will be eligible to compete in the qualifiers even if they fail to win the Asian Games.

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