Karachi: A severe cash crunch has struck Pakistan hockey team's preparations for the Asian Games. The record eight-time champions hopes of defending their title is in jeopardy as the team's Europe tour to prepare for the Incheon Asian Games, Sep 19-Oct, now looks doubtful.
Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) had requested the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and other sports authorities for Rs.500 million for the team's tour to Europe as well as for participation in the upcoming Asian Games. But so far the PHF found no response from the government authorities.
"The PHF badly needs funds to prepare the national senior and junior teams for foreign assignments as well as for domestic circuit. The PHF wants the national team to undertake a short tour to Europe in the build-up for the upcoming Incheon Asian Games but we are facing extreme paucity of funds for that and other important assignments ahead," Rana Mujahid, PHF secretary, was quoted as saying by The Dawn.
"We urgently need funding for the senior team because their European tour and Asian Games are just weeks away now. Our international participation will be in jeopardy if the funds are not provided urgently," he said.
Rana added that besides the senior team's tour to Europe tour and the Asian Games, Pakistan will also have to also feature in the Champions Trophy in India while the junior team will have to take part in the Sultan Johar Cup in Malaysia later this year.
Earlier this year, four-time champions Pakistan missed the World Cup for the first time since the inception of the tournament in 1971 and were also denied entry to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.