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PHF slams Aus after Korea pull out
September 06, 2007 16:33 IST
The Pakistan Hockey Federation said on Thursday that Australia was attempting to get this year's Champions Trophy moved out of Pakistan by convincing other teams that the security situation was unstable.
Olympic champions Australia have already pulled out of the event to be staged in Lahore [Images] in December. South Korea joined them on Wednesday, a day after two bomb blasts killed some 25 people in Rawalpindi.
"Korea's withdrawal comes as a shock to us because we had invited them to come and inspect the security arrangements for themselves," Khalid Mehmood, the PHF secretary, told Reuters.
"We have been giving security assurances to all teams and the International Hockey Federation (FIH). But for some reason Australia is bent on convincing other teams to have the tournament shifted."
Uncertainty over Lahore staging the event increased after the FIH announced on Wednesday it had put Malaysia and India as alternate venues and invited bids from them.
The PHF was disappointed with the situation as it had already started making arrangements and was installing new floodlights at the venue, Mehmood said.
The FIH had told Pakistan any decision on shifting the tournament would only be taken after Sept. 15, he said.
"We are still waiting for an official intimation from the FIH but we will still fight to have it in Lahore."
Britain, the replacement team for Australia, has also raised security concerns.