The Fédération Internationale de Hockey (FIH) has suspended Pakistan from 2019 FIH Pro Hockey League scheduled from January to June 2019. The announcement came following the Pakistan Hockey Federation’s (PHF) request to withdraw from the first three games against Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand.
FIH CEO Thierry Weil said that PHF’s decision to not participate in the first three games is a bad news which could jeopardize the tournament, therefore, IHF is left with ‘no other option but to suspend Pakistan from the event’.
The international body announced the news in a statement:
Pakistan will not take part in the 2019 FIH Pro League. The Pakistan Hockey Association informed FIH today that they were no longer able to play their first three games planned against Argentina, Australia and New Zealand, citing inevitable circumstances.
While the FIH CEO has expressed his regret on the matter, the tournament will proceed with no impact from Pakistan’s exclusion as the eight teams will play each other on a home and away basis.
It is regretful that Pakistan has decided only now to withdraw from the first games of the FIH Pro League. Consequently, FIH were left with no other option than suspending Pakistan from the rest of the competition’s season.
PHF is yet to explain the reason behind pulling out of the first three games. The hockey’s regulatory body often faces funding issues which might be the reason behind the decision to not participate in the league.