Lausanne: Pakistan finished seventh at the Hockey World League Semifinals in London, which was also one of the qualifying tournaments for the 2018 FIH World Cup. But it proved good enough two months later as on Wednesday they qualified for the mega event in India, marking their return to after missing out in the previous edition.
The European semi-finalists have already qualified for the mega-event, which will be held in Bhubaneswar from November 28 to December 16, helping Pakistan’s cause.
The Green Shirts, currently ranked 14th in the FIH standings, ended seventh in the World League Semi-Finals in London, where the likes of Germany, England, Netherlands and Belgium earned World Cup qualification by finishing in the top five.
The results at the Rabobank EuroHockey Championships, which are currently taking place in Amsterdam, have gone very much in favour of Pakistan, with all four of the semi-finalists having already qualified for the World Cup via the HWL route.
Under FIH regulations, the team that wins its continental qualifier automatically qualifies for the World Cup.
Pakistan are the higher ranked of the two seventh-place finishers from the HWL Semi-Final events that took place in London and Johannesburg, with 16th-ranked France next in line for that all-important World Cup ticket.
Pakistan become the 13th team to qualify for the global showpiece, joining host nation India, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, Malaysia, Netherlands, Spain and New Zealand.
They have an envious record in the competition, having claimed the title on four occasions, which is more than any other nation.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.