Nawaz slams Pakistan hockey team's 'embarrassing' performance

Nawaz questions performance in the wake of Pakistan failing to qualify for Olympics 2016 for first time in history


Abdul Manan July 04, 2015
PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday expressed concern over the performance of the country’s hockey team in the World Hockey League.

The premier, who is also patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hockey Federation, said the team’s performance in 2016 Rio Olympics qualifiers was embarrassing.

Read: FIH Hockey World League: From gold dreams to black eyes — the men in green story

He sought explanation from officials from the federation and the sports ministry and questioned how a three-time gold medalist team performed so poorly. He then directed them to work on bettering their performance and regain the national sport’s faded glory.

Earlier on Thursday, Pakistan lost 1-0 to Ireland in the FIH Hockey World League Semi-finals. As a result, for the first time in their illustrious history, the Pakistan hockey team failed to qualify for the Olympics.

The men in green knew that nothing less than a win against 15th ranked Ireland in Antwerp, Belgium on Friday would suffice as they bid to finish fifth and retain any slim hope of qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Read: National junior hockey in doldrums

Despite the pressure, the side started off well and looked the better side at the start — bossing possession with 58% and receiving a penalty corner that was defended well by Kyle Good.

Pakistan also came close in the second quarter, with vice-captain Shafqat Rasool hitting an upright reverse shot just wide off the mark in the 17th minute.

COMMENTS (22)

Asad | 5 years ago | Reply FYI, meanwhile the cricket team is also struggling to qualify for Champions Trophy... just saying...
cautious | 5 years ago | Reply Shame on Sharif -- PM job is to inspire not to condemn players. Can you image any other World leader taking the time to condemn his own team which lost a competition? Like most Pakistani politicians including Sharif, IK and Zardari - they don't lead they pander to populous sentiment.
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