Men’s Hockey Team Falls Short of Paris Olympics

News Desk1 month ago
Men's Hockey Team Falls Short of Paris Olympics

Following a 0-4 defeat to Germany in the tournament’s semifinal, Pakistan succumbed to a 2-3 loss against New Zealand in the third-place match last night, effectively extinguishing their hopes of qualifying for this year’s Paris Olympics, as only the top three teams secured berths.

Pakistan’s beleaguered men’s hockey team has failed to qualify for the Olympics for the third consecutive time after missing their final chance at a Paris ticket in the FIH Qualifiers in Oman. This outcome has left the country’s former hockey stalwarts disheartened and dismayed.

Pakistan’s last Olympic appearance dates back to the 2012 Games, where they finished 7th, a slight improvement from their worst-ever 8th-place finish in the Beijing Games in 2008. Overall, the team boasts eight Olympic medals, including three golds (1960, 1968, and 1984).

Olympian Wasim Feroze, a member of Pakistan’s 1994 World Cup and Champions Trophy-winning teams, expressed disappointment at the team’s performance, attributing it to inadequate preparation time compared to other competing nations.

The financial woes plaguing Pakistan hockey, resulting in unpaid allowances and salaries for players and coaches, have exacerbated the situation. The recent removal of PHF President Brigadier (retd) Khalid Sajjad Khokar by the caretaker prime minister further deepened the crisis, leading to internal turmoil within the federation.

Also Read: Decline and Revival Strategies for Hockey in Pakistan

Former captain Samiullah and hockey legend Islahuddin Siddiqui echoed concerns about Pakistan hockey’s governance and lack of preparation, emphasizing the need for systemic reforms before resuming international participation.

Pakistan’s former captain Hasan Sardar criticized the government’s inaction amidst the administrative chaos, highlighting the challenges posed by frequent changes in coaching staff and player uncertainty.

The absence of a major title since the 2010 Asian Games victory underscores the downward spiral of Pakistan hockey, signaling a need for urgent intervention and structural overhaul to reclaim its former glory.

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