The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is considering Oman to be the home venue for Pakistan to play matches. In 2019, the schedule of international hockey will be changed with Champions Trophy to be scrapped and home and away matches will be introduced. Welcoming the move, a spokesman for the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) said: “We are waiting an official confirmation from the FIH in this regard.” It may be mentioned here that FIH president Dr Narinder Batra said the idea was to have Pakistan’s home matches in Oman. “Under the present circumstances, the foreign teams are unwilling to tour Pakistan due to the security concerns. So it is better we find a neutral venue for Pakistan, and Oman suits well to that option with its interest and following in hockey. Eight countries will visit Oman to play Pakistan and India-Pakistan matches will be the highlight of the matches,” he said. The top two countries after the home-and-away series involving the top eight hockey nations will qualify to the final qualifiers for the Olympics as well as the World Cup. “The matches will significantly boost hockey in Oman, with top quality matches being played in the country. On the other side, it will enhance the tourism in the country with thousands of foreigners visiting the place during the series probably from January to June of the year,” he said.
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