Karachi: Pakistan Olympic Association POA President Arif Hasan on Tuesday said that elimination of Pakistan hockey team from Commonwealth Games is a big setback for the national sport.
The four time world champions and three times Olympic gold medallists failed to make the cut for World Cup 2014 for the first time ever since the history of the prestigious event recently.
And now the apathy of the federation’s top brass has once more failed the national game after the federation failed to enter the event by the deadline due to its tussle with the Arifled POA.
“We provided every opportunity to Pakistan Hockey Federation PHF to send the entry before deadline but they didn’t pay any heed,” Arif said on Tuesday.
Top officials of PHF supports Pakistan Sports Board PSB backed parallel POA body, however the parallel body is rejected sternly by International Olympic Committee IOC. IOC has also threatened Pakistan of a potential ban from Olympics because of existence of a parallel government backed body National Olympic Association.
PHF officials, who are playing a big role in parallel POA body, showed no interest in sending an entry to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, to be held in Glasgow, because it had to send it through Arifled POA, recognized by the IOC. Commonwealth Games follows the guidelines of the IOC.
“Definitely the exclusion from Commonwealth Games would damage our national sport’s image in the international arena and would also deny our players a chance to feature in a high-profile tournament,” Arif said.
The national sport is in chaos since Pakistan failed to make the cut for World Cup after losing in Asia Cup semifinals. Asia Cup offered a single berth for World Cup for its champions.
And now exclusion from Commonwealth Games, has further denied the greenshirts of featuring in a top international event.
“We send them PHF letters, asking them to send the official entry but they didn’t pay any heed. We couldn’t do much except lamenting the apathy of our hockey officials,” Arif added.
He further said Pakistan would be sending contingent to the prestigious Commonwealth Games.