Pakistan qualify for 2018 Hockey World Cup in India
India will host the World Cup in the eastern city of Bhubaneswar from November 28 to December 16 in 2018
Lahore - Pakistan failed to qualify for 2016 Rio Olympics
Published: Thu 24 Aug 2017, 4:09 PM
Last updated: Fri 25 Aug 2017, 3:06 PM
Four-time world champions Pakistan qualified for a major tournament after a gap of six years as they booked their berth in the 2018 World Cup, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) announced on Thursday.
Pakistan, the record World Cup winners, had missed out on the 2014 World Cup in The Hague, the Netherlands. They also failed to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The Green Shirts, currently ranked 14th in the FIH Hero world rankings, finished in seventh position in the Hockey World League (HWL) semifinal in London.
The results at the Rabobank EuroHockey Championship, which are currently taking place in Amsterdam, have gone very much in favour of Pakistan, with all four of the semifinalists having already qualified for the World Cup via the Hockey World League route.
"Under FIH regulations, the team that wins its continental qualifier automatically qualifies for the World Cup. However, the semifinals of the European continental qualifier will be contested by Germany, England, Netherlands and Belgium - teams that have already achieved World Cup qualification thanks to top five finishes in the Hockey World League semifinals," a FIH release said.
"This means that the World Cup ticket goes to the highest placed finisher from the HWL semifinals that has not already achieved World Cup qualification. Pakistan are the higher ranked of the two seventh place finishers from the HWL semifinal events that took place in London and Johannesburg, with 16th ranked France next in line for that all-important World Cup ticket."
Pakistan became the 13th team to qualify for next year's global showpiece, joining host nation India, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, Malaysia, Netherlands, Spain and New Zealand.
Pakistan have won the World Cup on four occasions, more than any other nation. It is a welcome return to World Cup for them, following their failure to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, which was played in the Netherlands.
India will host the World Cup in the eastern city of Bhubaneswar from November 28 to December 16 in 2018.