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All set to tour India: Pak Hockey Federation
01 Sep 2003 09:16

The Pakistan Hockey Federation has said that its team will not have any problem touring India for the inaugural Afro-Asian Games, despite the latter's reservation about participating in the SAF Games, scheduled to be held here early next year.

The team's participation, however, in the Afro-Asian Games, being held in Hyderabad from October 24 to November 1, will be subject to clearance from the Pakistan government, PHF secretary Brig Musarutullah Khan has said.

"Our team will be available to compete in the event but its participation will only be confirmed after a green signal from the government," he was quoted as saying by The News on Saturday.

The PHF secretary also said that it was yet to receive any formal invitation to take part in the Afro-Asian Games from the organisers.

Pakistan have, in fact, been included among the eight participating teams by the organisers of the Afro-Asian Games.

Pakistan, along with India and South Korea, are the top three hockey teams in Asia.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Olympic Association secretary General Latif Butt expressed hope that India, who had decided to boycott the jinxed South Asian Federation (SAF) Games in Islamabad before it was postponed due to security concerns, would participate in the coming edition.

"I have no doubts in my mind that India will not back out. We have been getting assurances from their sport chiefs that they will participate in the Games," Butt told reporters at Islamabad on Friday.

He said that as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan have no problem in coming to Pakistan and with positive signal coming from India, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives, 'there should be no hitch in holding the Games next year'.

Butt said with Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali throwing his weight behind the holding of the Games, things should be easier for the organisers to host the regional sporting extravaganza in a befitting manner.


Article courtesy Rediff.com

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