Why are 4-time world champion Pakistan not playing in the FIH Hockey World Cup 2023 taking place in Odisha

Pakistan Hockey Team failed to qualify for the FIH Hockey World Cup 2023
Pakistan's players look on during the Group A match of the World League semi-final against India in Brasschaat, Belgium, on June 26, 2015. LUC CLAESSEN/AFP/Getty Images

Historically, Pakistan has been one of the most dominant Hockey team in the history of the sport having won four world cups, being a two-time runners ups and three-time Olympic Champions. So it’s very shocking for most fans to know that the four-time world champion won’t be playing in the current edition of the Hockey world cup taking place in Odisha from January 13.

Why is Pakistan not playing at the FIH Hockey World Cup 2023?

Pakistan didn’t make the cut for the mega-event and won’t participate in the 2023 Hockey World Cup. The world’s 17th-ranked team, which has won a record four World Cup titles, the most recent of which was in 1994, failed to make the cut and will therefore not be participating in this year’s competition.

Pakistan required to at least place in the top four at the 2022 Asia Cup, which was played in Jakarta from May 23 to June 1, in order to qualify for the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup. However, they were eliminated before the second round and placed third out of four teams in Pool A, confirming their exclusion from the World Cup.

Pakistan Hockey Team failed to qualify for the FIH Hockey World Cup 2023

Pakistan has previously skipped the major event. This year’s edition is no exception. They were absent from the 2014 edition, which was held in The Hague, as well.

The Pakistani squad had travelled to Bhubaneswar in 2018 to compete in the tournament’s 14th iteration, but they did not fare well. They came in third in their pool, trailing only Germany and the Netherlands, and in the cross-over game, they were defeated by Belgium 0-5. The Men in Green came in at number twelve.

On the other hand, Team India will open their campaign on January 13 against Spain, then play matches against England and Wales on January 15 and January 19, respectively. Each member of the Indian men’s team will receive Rs 1 crore in prize money, according to Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik, should they win the World Cup.