Indian Hockey Team To Travel To Pakistan For Olympic Qualifiers If It Doesn't Win Asian Games 2023

Indian Hockey Team To Travel To Pakistan For Olympic Qualifiers If It Doesn't Win Asian Games 2023

The team winning the continental event gold shall receive direct berth in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

PTIUpdated: Wednesday, August 02, 2023, 08:37 PM IST
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Hockey India president Dilip Tirkey, on Wednesday, said that the national men's team will travel to Pakistan for qualifiers in case it fails to directly qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics by winning gold at the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games, starting September 23.

The team winning the continental event gold shall receive direct berth in the quadrennial extravaganza as per rule but other nations need to play the qualifiers and this time venues identified are Pakistan and Spain.

"We will be trying to get the job done in Hangzhou. But, if for some reason, we fail to qualify, then there are a couple of venues that have been identified for the qualifiers - Pakistan and Spain.

"So, wherever it happens, we will definitely go," he said during a media interaction on the eve of the tournament on Wednesday.

Government Clearance Required for Travelling to Pakistan

Travelling to Pakistan requires government clearance and it is there to be seen what will be the centre's stance in case situation demands that national hockey team is needed to travel to Pakistan to play the qualifiers.

When weighed upon if the players were risking themselves to injury by playing Asian Champions Trophy, just weeks before heading to China, Tirkey said that one can pick up niggles even during training or warm-up games.

Players' Risk of Injury in Asian Champions Trophy

"The most important thing to note is that we play practice matches before every major event. Don't we have the fear of getting injured then? So, I think we should take this event on a positive note as a medium of preparation, and it is also a competitive event."

"There is still quite some time, over a month, left for the preparations for the Asian Games. Injuries can happen even during practice matches. So, I don't think we should be too bothered by it and focus on delivering our best here."

Chennai is witnessing the return of competitive international hockey for the first time in 16 years.

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