Pakistan clears hockey team’s India visit

December 4th, 2008 - 9:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Benazir BhuttoKarachi, Dec 4 (IANS) Pakistan has cleared the national hockey team’s visit to India for a four-nation tournament to be played in Chandigarh and Jalandhar from Jan 31 next year, it was announced Thursday.Asif Bajwa, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary, told reporters here that the foeign ministry had granted permission for the visit, adding it would be a good exposure to the players.

“Our hockey team will be visiting India for a four-nation tourney starting next month,” said Bajwa, a former Olympian.

The other countries in the tournament are India, Germany and the Netherlands.

Last month the Indian authorities refused to clear the Pakistani junior hockey team’s tour to the country for a five-match series citing security concerns.

The PHF later claimed it lost almost Rs.6 million because of the series cancellation.

He said the two hockey federations met in Los Angeles earlier this week and agreed to have regular matches on a home-and-away basis for the next five years.

He said Pakistan will host a major eight-nation international hockey event next year as a tribute to slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Bajwa said that due to the security situation in Pakistan, the tournament will be hosted at a neutral venue.

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