Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) officials are reportedly looking to push for the revival of bilateral relations with India at the upcoming FIH Congress. According to PTI, Pakistani officials will be looking to secure a dialogue with India on the sidelines of the 37th FIH Congress, which will meet in New Delhi in May to elect new executive board members and a president for the next four years. The PHF, which is currently facing financial strains, is expected to talk to the Indian federation regarding the revival of the India-Pakistan bilateral series at a neutral venue.
“The meeting will give us an opportunity to talk to the Indian hockey federation officials on the possibility of reviving bilateral ties that could benefit Pakistan and India and the hockey followers in both countries,” a top PHF official was quoted by PTI as saying.
The upcoming meeting of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) is scheduled to be held between May 19 and 24 in New Delhi, India. PHF officials will also attend the meeting as members of FIH. The Pakistani delegation will look to talk to their Indian counterparts and convince them about the prospects of an India-Pakistan bilateral series or a match for both countries and for the game of hockey as a whole. According to PTI, PHF president Brig (retd) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar and secretary Asif Bajwa have already applied for Indian visas in order to attend the 37th FIH Congress.
Pakistan’s hockey federation is under a lot of pressure due to poor finances. The situation has worsened in the past few years, especially since India-Pakistan bilateral ties ceased. PHF believes that an India-Pakistan series will bring good money via broadcasting rights and sponsors and that both teams will be able to reap benefits, which is the key reason why it wants to revive the bilateral relations, the official said. India and Pakistan last played hockey in the 2018 Asian Champions trophy, where the men in blue beat the greens by 3-1.