LAHORE, Jul 12 (APP):Pakistan Hockey Federation President Brig (Retd) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar said on Thursday that the national hockey team would definitely perform better in the Asian Games as it has learnt a lot from its participation in the Champions Trophy.
“Though we finished sixth, out of the six teams Champions Trophy, but participation in the such a high profile event will ensure a far better show in the Asian Games which are two months away in Indonesia,” he told APP in an interview here at PHF headquarters.
Brig Khalid said playing against world’s top most teams in the Champions Trophy has exposed our players to high profile international experience besides infusing confidence in them.
“Before their participation in the Champions Trophy, some of the players of the team did not have the opportunity to play against world’s best teams and even then they struck quite satisfactory performance and surprised Olympic Champions Argentina with a fine
victory,” he said adding “Unfortunately the team was not able to achieve further success in its coming matches as players did not have sufficient international match practice against World top teams.”
The PHF chief made it clear that the government has not stopped the PHF grant based on the performance of the team in the Champions Trophy and said a wrong impression had been created in a section of the press.
“Government already approved Rs 200 million grant for the PHF, which has not been released due to shortage of funds and hopefully it will be released in a month’s time,” he said.
The PHF president expressed the optimism that Pak team would be on victory stand in the Asian Games. “We know it is not going to be an easy event as Asian teams have progressed a lot and even Malaysia and Japan will be tough opponents,” he added.
To a question, he said that India would be the main threat to Pakistan in the Asian Games and efforts would be made to design a special training pogramme in consultation with Pak team management to beat India and to brighten chances for winning the Games.
He said PHF was mobilizing all the resources for the revival of the game and it was endeavoring to come up with a combination which should be capable enough to live up-to the expectations.
“Asian Games are a very important assignment for us as achieving desired results will guarantee our direction qualification to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” said PHF chief.
He said PHF was expecting a lot from the foreign coach and home assistant coaches of the team to revive the sagging fortune of the team and to infuse a new life in it with the aid of their experience.
To a question, he said he was the elected president of the PHF and his specific mandate is to work for the uplift of the game by taking all the stake holders in confidence.