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Group Proposes Venue for Qualifiers

May 30, 2002

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NEW DELHI, India (AP) _ The International Hockey Federation has proposed staging the women’s World Cup qualifying series between India and United States at a neutral venue.

The Americans were to have played in India next week, but the U.S. team abandoned the series because of mounting tension between India and Pakistan.

The U.S. team left New Delhi on Saturday following a warning by the U.S. State Department that Americans not travel to India and Pakistan.

The Americans missed the main qualifying tournament in France in September because flights were grounded after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The International Hockey Federation decided to give U.S. another chance, announcing a playoff series with India, which placed seventh in the qualifying tournament.

The winner of the three-match series gets a spot in the World Cup in Perth, Australia.

``The world body has advised India to play the much-postponed series against United States at a neutral venue,″ said Amrit Bose, secretary of the Indian Women’s Hockey Federation. ``They have proposed England as the venue.

``The world body needs to acknowledge that we’ve been treated unfairly,″ Bose said. ``We’ll go anywhere to play the series, as we’re looking ahead to the World Cup. But this World Cup imbroglio needs to be resolved.″

Update hourly