Pakistan lost to Japan in the last match of the Asia Cup of Hockey. The match was critical for the participation in the Hockey World Cup. Pakistan that once used to be one of the best teams of hockey in the world is now losing miserably. The Asia Cup served as a World Cup qualifier and now that Pakistan has been defeated by Japan, it will no longer be allowed to participate in the World Cup of hockey in 2023. That is a matter of shame for those who are running the affairs of the game. Pakistan has been the winner of the hockey world cup three times. Hockey is the national sport of Pakistan, however, it is not given any importance anymore. In the 1980s Pakistan used to be the hub of talent in the game of hockey. Many Olympians, such as Hassan Sardar, Samiullah and Kaleemullah were known as the best hockey players in the world. Now, however, there are no such names in the team and the players are not at fault for this. The game of hockey in Pakistan used to receive a significant amount of funding until cricket came to the forefront. Cricketers were paid better and resources were allocated for the betterment of facilities for cricket players. Hockey saw a steep decline and now the conditions are dismal for the sport.
In order to promote a soft image of Pakistan and to promote sports within the country it is imperative for the government to focus on sports as a whole. Hockey players are an asset of Pakistan and must be given the due finances so that they may be able to bag trophies for the country. In contrast to Pakistan, India is an all rounder in all sports, it has bagged the position to host the hockey world cup and is one of the top names in the cricket world as well.
The Pakistan Hockey Federation has initiated an inquiry to investigate why such a defeat was proclaimed by the team. However, the head coach, Siegfried Aikman, has stated the team’s performance was satisfactory and that the team played in an offensive mode rather than a defensive one. He also stated that it is time for the rebirth of the sport and the team and it can only be done through proper funding by the government and proper training of the players so that the Pakistan hockey team reaches the same heights it used to be at once upon a time. The thing is that a probe will not resolve the issue. Instead, a new resolve to win hockey grounds will make a difference. This happens when the federation will be run by the right people.