ISLAMABAD - Pakistan hockey team not only let country down but also entire nation as they were hammered first by New Zealand, then South Korea, again beaten 3-2 by the minnows Malaysia while arch-rivals India also scored victory against them and finally England defeated them 2-1 in last group match on Saturday in the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament currently underway at Ipoh.
These back-to-back defeats shattered all the Green shirts hopes of making to the final. With this disastrous performance against such low profile teams, one thing is quite clear that how they face likes of Australia, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and other European hockey teams in the upcoming 2012 London Olympics.
Pakistan Hockey Federation had made tall claims before the start of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, that team is in supreme form and would return as champions but those proved only claims.
When this correspondent contacted former Olympian Shehnaz Sheikh for his comments on such dismal performance of Pakistan, he said: “The current PHF hatchery has destroyed Pakistani hockey and brought only bad name for the country in almost all the tournaments those they played except the Asia Cup which hey won after a gap of two decades.”
Shehnaz stated: “After spending more than four years at the helm of federation Qasim Zia and co had failed miserably to deliver and now they must quit immediately and if they stay further then Pakistan will have no chance of finishing at the top half in the London Olympics.
“I appeal to Patron-in-chief of Pakistan hockey, Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani and Patron Rehman Malik to sack the entire body and appoint an ad hoc committee immediately if Pakistan want to win medal in the Olympics,” he added
Talking to this scribe former Olympian Samiullah said: The federation lack the vision as they fail to produce even a single player during their tenure and now are left with no other option but to bring back Shakeel Abbasi and Rehan Butt to save their face in the Olympics. He also slammed Sohail Abbas nomination as captain as he had already passed his peak time and now proving liability for the team. Sohail missed so many short corners scoring chances so there is no place for him in the playing eleven, he added.
The management instead of accepting their poor show they blamed the junior players for team debacle which is injustice with them instead of blaming the juniors the management should have accepted the responsibility and quit the job immediately.
Naveed Alam former Olympian slammed Qasim Zia and blamed him for appointing Akhtar Rasool as head coach to settle old scores and said Akhtar has no experience of coaching and his appointment had badly damaged the country’s reputation at international level.
Naveed urged Prime Minister to intervene in the matter and appoint an ad hoc body to save the hockey from further disaster as already a lot of time had been wasted and further wastage of time would prove further disastrous for the game of hockey in the country. Pakistan only chance of standing on the podium lies in hockey but with such performances there is no hope of winning the medal in Olympics, he concluded.