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PHF seeks security clearance for hockey World Cup

Source: PTI
January 27, 2010 10:52 IST
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The Pakistan Hockey Federation has sought advice and security clearance from its government to send its team to New Delhi for the World Cup, which begins on February 28.

PHF secretary Asif Bajwa said the federation is seeking security clearance from government ministries as it has concerns over playing in India.

"We just want to be sure and assured that our team can concentrate on the tournament without having any security concerns to worry about," Bajwa said.

He said, as per procedure, the federation has asked for clearances from the interior and foreign ministries.

Bajwa said there was also a suggestion to have a special security unit sent with the team to India for the duration of the World Cup.

"If the government sees it fit it can also get a full assessment of the security situation with reference to our team before the tournament," he added.

Bajwa said there had been some security issues in India for sometime now and pointed out that last year also some players pulled out of the World Badminton Championships in India because of security fears.

"We have some questions we want answers to. That is why we have sought security clearance from our government, but it does mean we don't want to play in the World Cup. In fact, we are keen to play, because it is such a high profile event," he said.

Bajwa's comments came few days after federal minister for sports Ejaz Hussain Jakhrani ruled out boycotting the World Cup in a tit-for-tat reply to the way Pakistani cricketers were snubbed at the IPL players auction.

The Pakistan government, cricket board, media and former players believe there was a conspiracy behind the treatment meted out to Pakistan cricketers and Jakhrani said the Indian government should carry out an investigation into the way the IPL had handled the issue.

Jakhrani also demanded that the IPL admit they insulted the Pakistani cricketers at the auction.

But the minister said there is no chance of boycotting the World Cup since it is a global event of the International Hockey Federation and Pakistan also wants to improve its sporting ties with India.

Bajwa said the FIH has assured proper security arrangements for all teams in the World Cup, but still they are reports that Australia and England plans to bring their own security personal.

"So we also want to be sure about the situation in India," the former Olympian said.

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