Three-time champions Pakistan to miss Hockey World Cup

Three-time champions Pakistan to miss Hockey World Cup


Three-time champions Pakistan to miss Hockey World Cup

LAHORE (Web Desk) – Four leading Asian hockey-playing nations will be seen in action in the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 starting in Indian cities – Bhubaneswar and Rourkela – within nine-day time.

Three-time world champions Pakistan will be missing the 16-team event following their inability to finish among top four spots in the Asia Cup. All the other Asian hockey-playing countries – India, Japan, Malaysia, and Korea – will be seen in action.

For the first time, sixteen countries are competing in the Hockey World Cup that earlier was restricted to just 12 countries.

Yet, Pakistan who are ranked 17th in the world are missing the four-yearly action.

“It is really unfortunate that a country like Pakistan is not part of the 16-team World Cup. We cannot get an easier opportunity of qualifying for the event. It was just a cakewalk, yet we missed it. As a former world champion, I feel really bad and depressed not to see Pakistan as one of the contesting teams in India,” Khawaja Junaid, one of the members of World Cup 1994 winning team said. “I am really concerned about the Pakistan hockey players who could have gained necessary exposure by playing against the world’s best teams,” he said.

For the first time the FIH Men’s World Cup will be hosted by a nation twice in a row as the 2018 edition was held in the state of in India as well. The Indian city also hosted the FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup in 2021 and the FIH Hockey Pro League over the past 4 years, following the FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup in 2018.

Both Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, will host matches on the opening day of the FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar, Rourkela. The first match on Jan 13 will be played in the Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneswar, where 2016 Olympic Gold medalists Argentina will take on reigning African Champions, and victors of the recent inaugural edition of the FIH Hockey Men’s Nations Cup: South Africa. This will be followed by more Pool A action between World No. 1 Australia and the rapidly improving French team.