Pakistan orders probe into hockey team's poor performance
Islamabad: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has ordered an investigation about the national team`s poor performance in the recently concluded Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Cup Tournament 2012 in Malaysia where Pakistani team ended at last position among seven teams.
Pakistani team, three times champions of the event, won its first match against Argentina by 4-2 but was beaten in its rest five successive matches by New Zealand (3-1), South Korea (4-0), Malaysia (3-2), India (2-1) and Britain (2-1).
The president of the PHF Qasim Zia asked the team management including manager and coach to submit the report about the reasons behind the shameful performance in the mega event.
"As the London Olympics are not far away and we have 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 on Tuesday evening.
According to some 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 the official source.
Pakistan hockey team reached home from Malaysia on Tuesday night at the country`s eastern city of Lahore.
Sports circles hoped some quick changes in the team and its management as the team is scheduled to fly for European tour on Friday.
The tour to Europe is the last chance for Pakistani team to be prepared for the London Olympics starting on July 27.
Watching the recent results PHF has also decided to widen its selection pool by giving some relaxations to eight rebel players who participated in the unofficial World Series Hockey (WSH) in India this year. Last month, instead of imposing two years ban on these rebel players, PHF fined them only so that they might be available for the team selection.
Responding to the decision by the federation PHF chief selector Hanif Khan welcomed the decision and said "now we have more options to finalize the team for the Olympics."
The new team for European tour is likely to be announced no later than Thursday with some changes by calling back senior players to make the team stronger.