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FIH invites India for Champions Trophy
October 12, 2004 17:07 IST
International Hockey Federation sent a formal invitation on Tuesday asking India to take part in this year's Champions Trophy hockey tournament in Pakistan following Australia's withdrawal from the event on security grounds.
In the communication, secretary general of FIH Peter L Cohen said since Australia declined to take part in the December 4 to 12 competition, India, which had finished seventh in the Olympics, "has now qualified for the event and accordingly we are inviting you to participate in the tournament."
FIH's invitation came a day after Australia withdrew from the event citing security reasons.
Justifying the decision to pull out of the event, Hockey Australia said in a statement in Sydney today that "the advice for all Australians to defer travel to Pakistan leaves us with no choice but to withdraw."
Meanwhile, IHF media advisor Anupam Ghulati said India has already sent a reply to FIH confirming that it would participate in the elite six-nation tournament. The last date for confirming participation was October 15.
"It's indeed a great news for us and we are immensely pleased. The heartening factor is that this is the third time in a row we are taking part in the meet, having played in the last two editions," Ghulati said.
"With India hosting the next one in 2005, it would make it four on the trot which is a record of sorts since we had never played the event so many time consecutively."