Australia threaten to boycott Pakistan hockey meet

SYDNEY: Australia said yesterday that it would boycott a six-nation men's field hockey tournament in Pakistan in December unless organisers respond to concerns about possible terrorist attacks. 

Hockey Australia chief executive Linden Adamson said he was growing increasingly alarmed about security at the Champions Trophy tournament in light of a recent upsurge in terrorist threats against Australia. 

He notably cited a suicide bombing against Australia's embassy in Jakarta last week and unconfirmed reports yesterday that militants in Iraq had kidnapped two Australian workers and were threatening to execute them. 

“These acts clearly point to the fact that Australia is the target of extremists,” Adamson said. 

“We must be doubly certain that we are taking athletes and support staff into areas that are safe. If it's not safe, we won't go. It's as simple as that,” he said. 

Adamson sent a request to tournament organisers in Lahore at the start of the month seeking further details about security arrangements but said Tuesday that he had still not received a response. 

“If that information is not forthcoming, there is no way Australia will take part,” he said. 

Australia's Olympic champion Kookaburras have never missed a Champions Trophy tournament in the 27-year history of the event. Tournament entries close on Sept 24. – AFP 

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