We lost to Poland on purpose: Bajwa

Published: April 15, 2010
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KARACHI: Pakistan’s loss against Poland in World Cup Qualifiers was deliberate and planned, according to an interview of the then-team-manager and current Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary Asif Bajwa.

The loss, according to an interview Bajwa gave to Voice of America (VOA), was part of a strategy as Pakistan wanted to avoid facing France in the final of the tournament which would have made it more difficult for the greenshirts to qualify for the global event.

Bajwa, however, denied giving the interview to VOA in which the shocking revelation was made — a day after a team member claimed that the secretary had forced the entire team to resign following the World Cup 2010 debacle in order to avoid media and public frenzy.

“I don’t want to justify that defeat but I want to tell you that it was part of a strategy,” said Bajwa.

“Had Pakistan beaten Poland, it could have been France in the final. We wanted to avoid that because France could have won and would have qualified for the final rounds of the world cup.”

Bajwa added that senior players were rested on purpose for that match but refused to call it foul-play.

“I do not call it match-fixing but strategy and planning. We rested our key players in order to be better equipped in the final against Japan. Our planning worked well and we qualified for the 2010 world cup.”

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