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Kuala Lumpur, Singapore likely venues

Islamabad: The Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) will be meeting in Kuala Lumpur December 17 to take a decision on staging a hockey series between arch rivals India and Pakistan at a neutral venue — possibly at the Malaysian capital or Singapore.

“The AHF is working on finalising venue, time and other allied matters to arrange a three-match series either in Kuala Lumpur in March or Singapore in May,” Pakistan Hockey Federation secretary, Brig. Musarratullah Khan, said Tuesday .

He said the series would help in breaking a deadlock to play in such an event since 1999 when both the teams played last. PHF officials had meetings with the high ups of the AHF during the congress of the international hockey federation in Perth earlier this month.

Musarratullah said it was proposed at the meetings that the series may be organised in Malaysia before the Azlan Shah Cup which will be played from March 17. “Another option given was to organise the series in Singapore where the Pakistan team makes a brief stopover in May before flying to Australia to take part in two four-nation tournaments in Perth and Sydney,” he said.

He also said the PHF has a firm stance to play India anywhere including at a neutral venue.

Pakistan, he said, had been deprived of staging the Champions Trophy last year in October due to various reasons and a series even on a neutral venue would help in making things favourable for holding this event on reciprocal basis between the two countries.

He said the PHF suffered huge financial loses with the last minute shifting of the event and since then no foreign team has visited Pakistan. The PHF has recently suffered another setback when most of the participating countries refused to visit Pakistan to take part in a five-nation tournament later this month in Lahore.

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