BigDaddy News

Hockey News

Pakistan players in tears after men’s hockey team fails to qualify for Olympics | Hockey

Pakistan’s embattled men’s hockey team has failed to qualify for the Olympic Games for a third consecutive time after losing its final shot at a Paris ticket in the FIH Qualifiers in Oman, a result that left the game’s former greats here sad and outraged in equal measure.

Pakistan player breaks down after final hooter
Pakistan player breaks down after final hooter

After losing 0-4 to Germany in the tournament’s semi-final, Pakistan went down 2-3 to New Zealand in the third-place match last night, ending their chances of making it to this year’s Paris Olympics as only the top-three made the cut.

Stay tuned for all the latest updates on Ram Mandir! Click here

As soon as the final hooter went off, many Pakistan players were seen in tears even as the New Zealand players tried to console their opponents.

Pakistan’s last Olympic appearance was in the 2012 Games where the team signed off 7th, a marginal improvement from its worst ever 8th place finish in the Beijing Games in 2008. The team is overall an eight-time medallist in the mega-event, three of them being gold (1960, 1968, and 1984).

“What do you expect bhai (brother), when the team is sent to the Olympic qualifiers with just 18 days training whereas all the other teams have come there with months of preparation and training,” Olympian Wasim Feroze, who was a member of Pakistan’s 1994 World Cup and Champions Trophy winning teams, said.

Pakistan hockey has been in doldrums and was faced with a financial crisis leading to non payment of allowances and contract salaries to players and coaches. The financial crunch at times forced the PHF to pull out of international events.

But two months back the crisis took a new turn when Brigadier (retd) Khalid Sajjad Khokar, who was PHF President since 2015, was removed by the patron in chief, the caretaker prime minister Anwar ul Haq Kakar.

This led to total chaos with Khokar refusing to accept the government decision and effectively created a situation of parallel authorities with the players also not sure about their future and coaches coming and going.

Khokar even threatened to go to the FIH and get the PHF suspended as he claimed only he was recognised by the world body.

Arch-rivals India qualified for Paris with an Asian Games gold last year.

Feroze, who has remained a national selector, said the country should suspend playing international hockey events until it sort outs its internal problems.

“There is no money for players and there is so much politics in the national federation and even at grass root level. Better we first resolve these things then go and play in international events and get embarrassed,” he said.

Former captain, Samiullah said he felt depressed after seeing the level to which Pakistan hockey had fallen.

“I mean, if we can’t even win one match which was like a final for us what is going to happen? In the last quarter of the match against NZ the players just didn’t have the fitness or spirit to secure victory,” he said.

Samiullah said it was a shame that Pakistan would now miss its third successive Olympics.

His contemporary, Islahuddin Siddiqui agreed and said the players were just not well-prepared for the qualifiers.

“Pakistan hockey has been in a mess for the last four-five years because of the governance. Coaches have changed so rapidly and players are not sure about their financial security. It is so sad,” he said.

Islahuddin was captain of the Pakistan team that won the World Cup in 1978 in Argentina.

Pakistan’s former captain, Hasan Sardar said it was a sad day for Pakistan.

“I mean I don’t know what the government is also doing because weeks before the Olympic qualifiers the President of the federation is sacked and he refuses to accept the decision. Coaches are changed, old players are brought back,” he said.

“How can a team combination be prepared in 2-3 weeks?” he asked.

Pakistan have no major title to their credit since winning the Asian Games in 2010.

Leave feedback about this

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Service


Add Field


Add Field
Choose Image
Choose Video

Want To Earn From Skills ?

Bonus On New ID