Lahore, Jul 18 (UNI) Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Asif Bajwa has called on the FIH to increase the Asian quota for the 9th Men's Junior World Cup to be held next year in order to maintain the popularity of the game in the continent.
''As far as Asian hockey is concerned Pakistan, if it fails to make it to the World Cup, will serve a big blow to this region where hockey is already struggling,'' Bajwa said. ''Already India's ouster from the Olympic hockey has pushed the hockey downward in this region and if Pakistan doesn't make it to this Junior World Cup, hockey will suffer immeasurably at international level.'' ''Therefore, I would like to ask the FIH to take stock of the situation and increase the number of qualifiers from this Junior Asia Cup,'' he added.
The Federation of International Hockey (FIH) had announced that the top six teams from the Men's Junior Asia Cup Hockey at Hyderabad would qualify for the World Cup.
However, since four teams pulled out from the event, the FIH announced that in view of reduced number of teams they would decide the number of qualifiers from the ongoing Junior Asia Cup.
India and South Korea, who have reached the final, are certain to qualify along with host nations Malaysia and Singapore. But the fate of the other two - Pakistan and Japan - hangs in balance till the final decision will be taken at the FIH meeting during the Olympic Games in Beijing next month.
UNI XC AB DS1355