Performance of Pakistan hockey team at World Cup has embarrassed the nation once again. Pakistan could not win a single match in the mega event and crashed out from the competition in the crossovers stage that can be counted as pre-quarter finals stage. Pakistan drew one match with Malaysia 1-1, lost to Germany 1-0 but in other two matches Pakistan conceded 5 goals each against Netherlands and Belgium and ultimately knocked out from World Cup. Pakistan could score only two goals in the event and conceded 12 goals.
Bad day, bad luck can play havoc on the given day for any team. But Pakistan team seemed unstructured throughout the tournament; their approach remained defensive in all the matches. Players failed to show any spark in the field, either in defence or while attacking which has exposed their ill-preparedness for the tournament.
Once world best team, which has World Championships and Olympics under its belt has failed to qualify for the World Cup 2014 and the 2016 Olympic Games. Even today Pakistan has won four World Cups more than any other hockey playing nation. But it is also a harsh reality that Pakistan won last world cup way back in 1994 and after that team’s performance kept declining over the years.
Decline in Pakistan hockey is not the matter of days or months. Since decades incompetent and allegedly corrupt regimes at the Pakistan Hockey Federation have seen the game slipping. Maladministration, internal politics, lack of funds and missing infrastructure are the facts contributing in decline of Pakistan hockey.
There is dire need to promote national game at the grass-roots level, this game must be promoted at the schools and colleges. At the moment Pakistan’s team is mainly being selected from five to six districts of Punjab province. Unless game is not promoted around the country young talent is hard to find out.
A complete overhaul is required to bring back lost glory of hockey.