KARACHI: Pakistan bowed out of the IX Federation International Polo (FIP) World Cup on Sunday, losing three of their four matches in the tournament that took place in Argentina.
The team was placed in league one along with India, Argentina, Mexico and Italy, while league two consisted of the US, England, Brazil, Australia and Chile.
Pakistan began their campaign with a 17-6 loss against Italy, followed by defeats against Mexico and Argentina, before beating arch-rivals India 12-10 in their final game.
Pakistan Polo Club President Zafar Iqbal believed that the absence of key player Aisam Ali Haider was the major reason for the poor showing.
“I think the biggest factor behind Pakistan’s defeat is Haider’s absence,” Iqbal told The Express Tribune. “He was our best player but was forced out through injury. This was the first time we qualified for the World Cup so we can’t be hard on the team, but after training with the Argentinean coach for two weeks we could’ve done better.”
Pakistan had left for Argentina on September 22 to prepare for the tournament. According to team manager Abdul Qadir Mamdot, the players had trained with Argentinean coach Lucas Di Paola for the event.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2011.