‘Can’t qualify for Olympics eating chana and khajoor’
The captain of the Pakistan hockey team Muhammad Imran on Tuesday lashed out at the government for ignoring the national sport and said no one should expect big performances from players on a diet of "chana daal and <g data-gr-id="16">khajoor</g>".
Talking to the media in Lahore after the national team returned from Brussels on Tuesday morning,
Imran minced no words in stating that the players now had no motivation to do well.
"Hum Rooh Afza <g data-gr-id="30">aur</g> Khajooro par, naan <g data-gr-id="31">channay</g> <g data-gr-id="32">khaa</g> kar world champions <g data-gr-id="33">nahi</g> <g data-gr-id="35">ban</g> <g data-gr-id="34">saktay</g>," Imran said a clear reference to the problems faced by players since last few years due to the financial crisis in the Pakistan Hockey Federation.
"Why didn't the Prime Minister or government take notice of our problems or the state of hockey affairs when they should have," he said.
The Pakistan team returned home on Tuesday from Brussels in a <g data-gr-id="17">low key</g> fashion with head coach
and manager, Shahnaz Sheikh also giving a number of reasons for the team?s failure to qualify for the summer Olympics and finish eight in the 10 team World Hockey League.
"The reaction of everyone to this dismal performance is understandable and I am not offering any <g data-gr-id="24">excuses</g> but the truth is we have faced financial constraints, lack of facilities and intense competition and we failed to qualify for the Olympics," he said. Pakistan's hockey team failed to qualify for the Summer Olympics for the first time in its history and PM Nawaz Sharif had already ordered an inquiry into the debacle and also a special audit into the PHF accounts.