India issues visa to Pakistan hockey squad for World Cup

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LAHORE: The Indian High Commission has issued visas to the members of Pakistan hockey squad, barring its head coach, assistant coach and one player, for participating in the forthcoming World Cup being held in Bhubaneswar.

The game’s pinnacle event featuring teams from 16 nations is scheduled to be staged from Nov 28 to Dec 16.

The issuance of visa to Pakistan head coach Tauqir Dar, assistant coach Danish Kaleem and Irfan Junior (player) is currently in process and hopefully these will be issued by Tuesday.

In another development, Dawn learnt, Haier, the new sponsor of Pakistan hockey team, has issued a cheque of Rs9 million for purchasing tickets for the World Cup-bound national squad and clearing the players’ payments before they leave for India.

Since the appointment of Tauqir as head coach, the national team has been attending receptions being hosted by civil society almost every day. For a similar function, the organisers have given a cheque of Rs2.5 million for the players to boost their morale.

A 27-strong Pakistan contingent — including 18 players, six officials, PHF president retired Brig Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, secretary Shahbaz Ahmed Senior and chief selector Islahuddin Siddiqui is scheduled to travel to India.