iconimg Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Indo-Asian News Service
Islamabad, June 06, 2012
The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has ordered an investigation into the national team's poor performance in the recently concluded Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Cup Tournament 2012 in Malaysia where the three-time champions finished last among seven teams. Pakistan won their first match against Argentina 4-2 but then lost their remaining five matches- to New Zealand (1-3),South Korea (0-4),Malaysia (2-3),India (1-2) and Britain (1-2).

PHF president Qasim Zia asked the team management, including the manager and coach, to submit their report about the reasons behind the shameful performance in the mega-event, reports Xinhua.

"The London Olympics are not far away and we have a very short time for its preparations so we intend to remove our problems quickly to get ready for the Olympics," said Zia, while talking to local media Tuesday evening.

According to sources, the recent performance has forced the federation to make some changes in the team, including replacing the captain.

"The PHF never thought about such position in the event. All the players especially the captain was responsible as he failed to perform on his first assignment and the federation can't take risk for Olympics," said a source.

The Pakistan hockey team arrived in Lahore from Malaysia Tuesday night. Quick changes are expected in the team before it leaves for a European tour Friday.The tour to Europe is the last chance for the Pakistan team to tune up for the London Olympics, starting July 27.

The debacle in Malaysia has also prompted PHF to include eight rebel players who participated in the unofficial World Series Hockey (WSH) in India this year. Last month, instead of imposing a two-year ban on these rebel players, PHF only imposed fines on them so that they might be available for the team selection.

PHF chief selector Hanif Khan welcomed the decision by the federation and said: "Now we have more options to finalize the team for the Olympics."

The new team for the European tour is likely to be announced Thursday with some changes by calling back the rebels to make the team stronger.