Pakistan Hockey Captain Rizwan Lashes Out at Team Management

Team Udayavani, Dec 21, 2018, 12:50 PM IST

Karachi: Pakistan captain Muhammad Rizwan senior has lashed out at the team management and authorities, saying it is unfair to blame senior players for the national team’s debacle at the men’s hockey World Cup in India. “The people in the management are now trying to blame six or seven of the senior players for what happened in the World Cup which is totally unfair,” Rizwan said.

“The fact is that we have to stop these ad-hoc arrangements of appointing local coaches and management for short term periods. We need to have a foreign coach and qualified staff from one World Cup to the next if we want to get good results,” he said.

Pakistan had crashed out of the hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar after suffering a devastating defeat at the hands of Belgium. Rizwan said that whenever foreign coaches had been brought in they had tried to improve the system and structure of hockey in the team and performance of players had improved.

“Unfortunately they come for short periods and so we don’t get required results. The coach of the Holland team has been with them for four years now. Similar is scenario with coaches of other teams,” he said. The Pakistan Hockey Federation was unable to stop Dutch coach, Roelant Oltmans from leaving his coaching assignment with the Pakistan team after just five months before the World Cup over financial issues.

While in 2012 also it replaced another Dutch coach, Van Den, weeks before the London Olympic Games after Pakistan won the Asian Games gold under his coaching. Rizwan said it was very easy to blame the players for the World Cup debacle but in Pakistan the captain was not even consulted on the selection of team.

“They don’t even bother to talk to the captain and take his opinion. Till last moment I was not sure I would be captain for the World Cup,” said Rizwan, who sustained an injury after two matches and was ruled out of the competition where Pakistan finished at 12th position in 16 teams.

The fall-out from the World Cup has already seen chief coach Tauqir Dar, manager Hasan Sardar and coaches Rehan Butt and Danish Kaleem resign while pressure is also increasing on the government to change the PHF top leadership. Prime Minister, Imran Khan is patron in chief of both the Pakistan Cricket Board and PHF.

The PHF President, Brigadier (retd) Khalid Khokar has appointed a probe committee to look into the causes for the poor show in the World Cup but interestingly, its head, Abdul Rasheed junior has already said that bad administrative decisions was a primary reason for the debacle.

Sources said some former top Olympians have been in touch with the Prime Minister’s secretariat and sports minister and changes in the PHF could also be on the way soon. Pakistan’s next international assignment is in Argentina in February in the FIH league.

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