KARACHI: Pakistan hockey team has qualified for next year’s World Cup despite the poor show in Hockey World League – thanks to the results of the ongoing European Hockey Championship.
The Green Shirts – currently holding the 14th position in the world rankings – finished seventh in the FIH Hockey World League semi final, held in London, and anxiously waited to see if their performance was good enough to let them be a part of the blue riband event.
The World Cup is slated to be held next year – from 28 November to 16 December – in India.
The results of the EuroHockey Championship, currently taking place in Amsterdam, Netherlands, have been quite in favour of Pakistan, with all four of the semi-finalists having already qualified for the World Cup via the Hockey World League route.
The team that wins its continental qualifier automatically qualifies for the World Cup, the Fédération Internationale de Hockey’s (International Hockey Federation/FIH) rules suggest.
However, the semi-finals of the European continental qualifier will be contested by Germany, England, Netherlands, and Belgium, all of whom have already achieved the World Cup qualification berth thanks to the top five finishes in the Hockey World League semifinals.
Therefore, the World Cup ticket goes to the highest-placed finisher from the Hockey World League semifinals that has not already achieved World Cup qualification. Pakistan are the higher-ranked of the two seventh-place finishers from Hockey World League semifinal events that took place in London and Johannesburg.
Pakistan becomes the 13th team to qualify for next year’s global showpiece, joining host nation India, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, Malaysia, Netherlands, Spain, and New Zealand.
The Green Shirts have an envious record in the competition, having claimed the title on four occasions, which is more than any other nation. This is a welcome return to World Cup action for the famous hockey playing nation, following their failure to qualify for the Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014 that was played in The Hague, Netherlands, Hockey lovers in Pakistan said. INP
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