Sports: Hockey: Sixth position in Azlan Shah Cup is humiliating: Naveed Alam

General Karachi

Karachi: Former hockey Olympian Naveed Alam on Monday blamed Pakistan Hockey Federation PHF and the team management for greenshirts humiliating bottom rock sixth position in recently concluded Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia.

Although the greenshirts started the tournament in Ipoh as second best ranked team behind world champion Australia but they failed to prove their high ratings and lost twice even to lower ranked archrival India during the event.

Pakistan lost to India 13 in the league match and later also lost the classification match for fifth place by 24 in spite of the fact that Pakistan is placed at fifth spot in international arena while India doesn’t even possess its place in top 10, occupying a place at 11th spot.

“Sixth place in Azlan Shah Cup is a humiliating position. I don’t know what the federation has been doing all the while in spite of being the most privilege setup ever. The present setup had big funds at its disposal, which previously no federation ever had. However, they failed to establish a strong national team, which is a big failure,” Naveed told PPI.

He said that the greenshirts should have reached the final even if they didn’t have the capability to clinch the title.

“But sixth place is a very humiliating performance. It is very disappointing for us to see our national sport struggling. We used to be among the best team of the world but now we could not even beat Asian teams,” he said.

He said that if some drastic changes were not made, the game hockey would decline further.

“We have failed to produce young quality players, who could replace the senior players Most of our senior players have already passed their prime a year or two ago. We don’t have any bench strength. The ground realities show that our national team’s performance would further decline at the international stage,” Naveed said.