‘Hockey fiasco’

November 03, 2019

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APROPOS the editorial ‘Hockey fiasco’ (Oct 31). Since the laying of Astroturf and changes in rules, hockey has become quite a fast and enjoyable game for spectators. This game can be promoted by laying more turf fields and arranging PSL type of competitions in Pakistan. Income generated by the Pakistan Super League will be a big attraction for players. Some PTI leader should take responsibility to revive this important game in Pakistan and to place its name on the Olympic medals table.

Syed Nazim
Los Angeles, USA

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APROPOS the news item ‘PM urged to intervene to save Pakistan hockey’(Oct 30).

Hockey legend Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh is 100 per cent right in seeking help and direct intervention by the prime minister to revive the dwindling state of affairs of field hockey, which is also our national game.

Dr Aamir Ahmad
Missouri, USA

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WHILE it was heartening to see Pakistan put on a spirited show against the Netherlands in the first leg of the hockey Olympic qualifier, the heavy loss in the second leg left many fans disappointed yet again. The men in green, 17th in the world, played their hearts out against the third ranked Netherlands, drawing 4-4 in the first leg.

However, the Dutch showed their prowess in the second leg, thrashing Pakistan 6-1 and punching their ticket to Tokyo for next year’s Olympics. This means that our hockey team, three-time Olympic and four-time world champions, has failed to qualify for the second consecutive Olympic Games. The players should not be blamed for the dismal performance though, as the sorry state of affairs of Pakistan’s hockey has gone on for decades now.

Furthermore, the neglect shown by the media and successive governments to sports in Pakistan is highly unfortunate. The hockey team’s failure to qualify means that so far just one Pakistani, shooter Muhammad Khalil Akhtar, has qualified for the 2020 Olympics. Pakistan just had a seven-member delegation at the Rio Olympics in 2016, its smallest-ever. Perhaps Pakistan’s search for a first Olympic medal since 1992 will go on for years to come.

Muneeb Faisal
Lahore

Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2019