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Thursday October 18, 2012

South Korea withdraw from Asian tournament

KUALA LUMPUR: South Korea have withdrawn from the Asian Champions Trophy in Doha from Dec 21-27.

They did not cite any reason other than that they would not be able to field a team in the tournament.

Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) secretary general Tan Sri P. Alagendra said they have now invited Bangladesh, ranked seventh in Asia, to fill the slot.

“We are waiting for Bangladesh to confirm their participation. We may opt for a five-team tournament or invite the eighth-placed team, Oman, if they can’t make it,” he said.

The first Asian Champions Trophy was held in Ordos, Mongolia, last year. India won the tourney by beating Pakistan in the final while Malaysia finished third.

Alagendra said the other five teams, including Malaysia, have accepted the invitation.

The others are India, Pakistan, Japan and China.

Alagendra said there were no plans to have the hosts, Qatar, play in the tournament.

“We go by the rankings. The tournament is for the top six teams in Asia and we are inviting the next ranked team as a replacement for South Korea.

Qatar knew they would not be playing when they made a bid for the tournament,” he explained.

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