From Pakistani hockey goalkeeper Mansoor Ahmed being treated at a hospital in Karachi.(AFP)
From Pakistani hockey goalkeeper Mansoor Ahmed being treated at a hospital in Karachi.(AFP)

Pakistan hockey hero Mansoor Ahmed seeks heart transplant in India

Former Pakistani hockey player Mansoor Ahmed, 49, has been suffering for weeks from complications stemming from a pacemaker and stents implanted in his heart.
By Agence France-Presse | Agence France-Presse, Karachi
UPDATED ON APR 23, 2018 07:08 PM IST

Pakistan’s World Cup winning field hockey goalkeeper Mansoor Ahmed Monday reached out to India for help in securing a heart transplant -- despite years of breaking his rivals’ “hearts on the field”.

The 49-year-old has been suffering for weeks from complications stemming from a pacemaker and stents implanted in his heart.

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Ahmed has been a sporting icon in Pakistan since helping the country win the 1994 World Cup in Sydney with his penalty stroke push against the Netherlands in the final.

“I may have broken a lot of Indian hearts on the field of play by beating India in the Indira Gandhi Cup (1989) and in other events but that was sport,” Ahmed told AFP.

“Now I need a heart transplant in India and for that I need support from the Indian government.”

India-Pakistan ties, including sports and cultural contacts, plummeted after the 2008 militant attacks in Mumbai, which New Delhi blamed on Pakistani militant groups.

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Despite the strained ties, Pakistanis are eligible to apply for medical visas to India, renowned for its booming medical tourism industry.

Ahmed -- who played 338 international matches, participated in three Olympics and various other high-profile events in a career spanning from 1986 to 2000 -- said the visa could be a lifesaver.

“Humanity is paramount and I too would be obliged if I get a visa and other help in India” said Ahmed.

Sport has been one of the few avenues to improve relations between the arch rivals, he added.

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“We have had a great rivalry and sports have helped on a number of occasions so that should continue,” said Ahmed.

India has suspended most bilateral sporting ties with Pakistan since 2008, with high-profile cricket tours bearing the brunt of the moratorium.

They have, however, continued to play each other in multinational events like the World Cup.

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