The Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) has yet to provide funds for the international competition, which is preventing the Pakistani hockey team from competing in the FIH Nations Cup.
Despite contacting the PSB three times for funding, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has not gotten a response, according to reliable sources.
Prior to the FIH Nations Cup, the Pakistani squad is scheduled to depart for South Africa on November 22, but it still lacks the funds to pay for travel and lodging.
The PHF has officially said that they will compete in the tournament, therefore if the Pakistani squad doesn’t show up, the FIH may take harsh action against them.
In addition, PHF Secretary Haider Hussain emphasized the significance of Pakistan’s participation in the forthcoming FIH Nations Cup after the Green Shirts won the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2022 and earned bronze.
“Participation in FIH Nations Cup is very important for us. Winning the event will help us qualify for the Olympics, where we haven’t played for the past eight years,” said Hussain.
“We don’t have funds for our trip to South Africa, which is why I want to request the prime minister [Shehbaz Sharif] to help us in this regard,” he maintained. “Not participating in the FIH Nations Cup will also affect the team’s ranking.”
The best-ranked teams not taking part in the FIH Hockey Pro League can compete at a high level in the FIH Nations Cup, and the winning team has the chance of being promoted to the FIH Hockey Pro League the following season.
As a result, the FIH Hockey Nations Cup heralds the beginning of the promotion-relegation system for the FIH Hockey Pro League, with the victorious side having the opportunity to be promoted to the FIH Hockey Pro League in 2023–24.
The 2023–24 and 2024–25 FIH Pro League champions will receive direct qualification to their respective 2026 Hockey World Cups. Following that, the winners in 2025–2026 and 2026–2027 will earn a spot in the 2028 Olympics.
From November 28 to December 4, 2022, the North-West University of Potchefstroom, South Africa, will host the FIH Hockey Men’s Nations Cup.
Pool A includes Pakistan, France, Ireland, and the host nation, South Africa. Canada, Japan, Korea, and Malaysia are included in Pool B at the same time.
The top two teams from each pool will advance to the competition’s semifinals.