There are no plans to have the India-Pakistan Olympic qualifier in Europe if they are tied: FIH
NEW ONE DELHI: The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has no plans to hold the Olympic qualification matches between India and Pakistan in Europe if the arch-rivals face each other in the battle for a place in the 2020 Tokyo Games.
A Pakistan Hockey Federation The official (PHF) said last week that the FIH was reflecting on the idea of carrying out possible clashes of Olympic classification between India and Pakistan in Europe due to recent political tensions between the two nations.
India's opponent for the two-stage Olympic qualifier would be confirmed on September 9 after a live draw at the FIH headquarters in Laussane with a likely home clash against Pakistan on the cards.
But the world body made it clear that there are no plans to have the matches in Europe if India and Pakistan tie each other and, as already announced, the teams ranked in the top eight will host the matches.
There is no truth in this (PHF official's claim). This is wrong, the FIH told PTI in an email communication.
India and Pakistan have been planted in two separate halves of the FIH raffle and there is a possibility that they may face each other in the Olympic Games qualification tournament.
The draw would see 14 teams in seven pairs with the winners together going to Tokyo in 2020.
Each of the FIH Olympic hockey qualifiers will feature two nations that play two consecutive games, with nations attracted to play with each other according to their rankings at the end of the last 2018/2019 Continental Championship, namely the Oceania Cup (8 of September) .
The matches will be organized by the highest ranking of the two competing nations.
According to the current rankings and the eight positions confirmed by the FIH, India will host the Olympic qualifiers of its men's and women's teams at the end of October or beginning of November.
Pakistan, currently ranked 17th in the world, had lost its qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.