KARACHI: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has been asked to learn from their boxing counterparts by former Olympians, who not only arranged a camp in their own country but are also hosting other countries in a joint-training camp for the Commonwealth Games preparations.
The Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) organised a 35-day joint training camp that started yesterday featuring seven foreign teams.
Former Pakistan hockey captain and coach Islahuddin Siddiqui said that the PHF officials should admit their mistake of planning a camp in Holland and learn a lesson from the PBF.
“Our boxing officials took a positive step of setting a camp in Pakistan because our conditions are pretty much the same as India and China,” Islah, who led Pakistan to the 1978 World Cup triumph, told The Express Tribune.
The PHF, which faced criticism for arranging the expensive camp in Holland, then took a u-turn and named it a European training tour where Pakistan will also play practice matches.
“As far as fund-raisers are concerned it’s a good cause but it seems pointless to even play practice matches in Europe because of different conditions,” said the former Olympian.
“It would not be easy for players to adapt to the change quickly after coming from cold conditions in Europe to the warm sub-continent,” added the former captain.
“Lahore and New Delhi almost have similar conditions so it would have been better to hold the camp in Lahore.”
Meanwhile, another former captain Shahbaz senior claimed that the federation is under pressure from coach Michel van den Heuvel and are blindly following his instructions.
“The camp will be set up in Eindhoven which is the backyard of Heuvel, I know this because I played under him,” said Shahbaz, who captained the Green Shirts in 1994.“What is the use of giving millions of rupees to Heuvel if he is dictating things to the PHF.”
“The coach does not feel comfortable otherwise a camp in Lahore was the best option.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2010.
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