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Indian government clears Pakistani contingent for South Asian Games

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:33 IST

The Indian government has cleared the participation of Pakistan's 456 member strong contingent for the upcoming South Asian Games to be played in Guwahati and Shillong from February 5-16.

"The government has given clearance for the contingent to go to India and take part in nearly 22 disciplines including field hockey," Akhtar Ganjera, the Director-General of Pakistan Sports Board, told PTI.

Ganjera said there would be no compromise on the security for the Pakistani contingent during the Games and the Indian Olympic Association had assured them of top notch arrangements for the athletes.

"We are going there to compete and try to win and also foster better relations with India," he said.

Pakistan Olympic Association President Lt General (ret) Arif Hasan said players' safety was their primary concern. "We have asked the Indian government to provide the best possible security to our athletes and they have assured us there would be no issues at all."

Hasan said Pakistan's participation in the hockey event was significant since the last time the two sides played in was the 2014 Champions Trophy. The occasion was marred by the Pakistani players' unruly behaviour after the match.

"Hopefully this time there will be no problems and even though overall our preparations for all the disciplines might not be satisfactory but we are hopeful our athletes will compete strongly," he said.

First published: 2 February 2016, 1:14 IST
 
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