Pakistan’s embattled men’s hockey team has failed to qualify for the Olympic Games for a third consecutive time after losing its final shot at a Paris ticket in the FIH Qualifiers in Oman, a result that left the game’s former greats here sad and outraged in equal measure.
After losing 0-4 to Germany in the tournament’s semi-final, Pakistan went down 2-3 to New Zealand in the third-place match last night, ending their chances of making it to this year’s Paris Olympics as only the top-three made the cut.
Pakistan’s last Olympic appearance was in the 2012 Games where the team signed off 7th, a marginal improvement from its worst ever 8th place finish in the Beijing Games in 2008. The team is overall an eight-time medallist in the mega-event, three of them being gold (1960, 1968, and 1984).
“What do you expect bhai (brother), when the team is sent to the Olympic qualifiers with just 18 days training whereas all the other teams have come there with months of preparation and training,” Olympian Wasim Feroze, who was a member of Pakistan’s 1994 World Cup and Champions Trophy winning teams, said.