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Pakistan welcome to play World Cup: Elena Norman (12/7/2017)
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Pakistan welcome to play World Cup: Elena Norman

Bhubaneswar: Amid the tension between India and Pakistan, Hockey India has confirmed it is open to any country playing in the World Cup.

“They are welcome like any other countries. It is upto them to complete the Visa process and provide all details,” Hockey India CEO Elena Norman said.

Pakistan is one of the 16 teams participating in the World Cup.

Giving details of the World Cup preparation, she said the turfs would be replaced ahead of the big tournament. India coach Sjoerd Marijne and skipper Manpreet Singh had earlier said that a particular portion of the pitch had a bump. Two additional galleries will also be added in the stadium, giving it a brand new look.

“Both the main and the practice pitch will be changed. The construction work is supposed to get over by the end of May. The pitch would laid after that in two-month time. The whole stadium is expected to be ready by July,” she said.

On Hockey India League, Elena clarified that the popular format is still on cards.

“It is scheduled for the end of 2019. The final dates will be out after getting window from FIH.”

On a few foreign players from Belgium and England falling sick possibly due to ‘food poisoning, she said,

“Some of the teams have unwell athletes. So, as part of precaution, we have asked the local authorities to check if the best practices is being done. We are getting all the hotels checked.”

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