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Pakistan PM forms committee to probe hockey team’s poor show


Karachi:  Expressing concern at Pakistan’s failure to qualify for the Rio Olympic Games, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today formed a five-member probe committee to find out reasons for national hockey team’s lacklustre show in the World Hockey League Semifinals in Belgium.

The committee is being headed by the Secretary, Sports in the Inter-Provincial Coordination minister Ejaz Chaudhary.

“It will submit a summary within a week for an immediate solution and then carry on a more detailed probe into hockey affairs,” a reliable source in the ministry told PTI.

The Prime Minister who is chief patron of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) apparently took notice after former Olympians demanded the sacking of PHF officials and team management after Pakistan failed to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in the World Hockey League.

Pakistan squandered its last chance to book a spot in the Olympics after going down to Ireland on Friday.

It is the first time in Pakistan’s history that the national hockey team will not feature in the Olympics.

Sharif apparently told ministry officials on Saturday in Islamabad that the team’s performance in 2016 Rio Olympics qualifiers was embarrassing.

He sought explanation from PHF officials and the sports ministry and questioned how the team had performed so poorly. The humiliated green shirts are due to return home on Tuesday and there are expectations that some of the players might announce their retirements but so far there has been no comment or reaction from the PHF officials who are presently in Brussels.

The PHF President Akhtar Rasool and Secretary Rana Mujahid both former Olympians have been crying hoarse since last year for the government to channel funds into hockey or it would dye a slow death in Pakistan.

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