New Delhi:Less than 10 days before the start of the event, Hockey India on Monday announced that the four-nation tournament scheduled at the National Stadium here from January 13 has been cancelled after it failed to get the go-ahead from the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
HI president AK Mattoo didn't disclose why FIH denied them permission but said now efforts were on to hold an India-France bilateral Test series to fill the void.
"We have cancelled the four-nation tournament scheduled this month because FIH did not give us the approval to organise the tournament," Mattoo told reporters here.
"In place of that, a bilateral series will be organised very soon. We are in talks with France for that purpose. As soon as we arrive on any decision, we will let you know," he said.
Mattoo, however, dismissed suggestions that FIH denied them permission because the National Stadium was not ready for the event.
Mattoo said construction was in the National Stadium was going on as per the schedule and there was no question of any delay in the organising of the hockey World Cup, which starts on February 28.
"World Cup will take place at its scheduled time. We are taking stock of the preparations and the stadium will be there in place. There is no question of delay. All the necessary work will be complete before the start of the event," he said.
The HI chief also shot down suggestions that the federation had hatched a controversy to deny affiliation to Hockey Punjab and debarring it from its January 29 elections.
"My intentions are clear that nobody should be left out. It is not that we are not interested in granting them affiliation. We are looking into the matter and there is no question of keeping anyone out from the election process," Mattoo said.
"We are ready for talks with Hockey Punjab or its president Sukhbir Singh Badal. We have not stopped Badal. We'll let you know in a day or two if anything happens in that direction," Mattoo said.