Karachi: The Pakistan Hockey Federation and national captain Zeeshan Ashraf feel one reason for the team's poor Commonwealth Games performance was the crowd behaviour in Delhi which has become "abusive" after the Mumbai terror attacks.
PHF secretary Asif Bajwa said the feedback he had got from the team was that the players were subjected to more abuse and insults then they were used to facing by Indian spectators before the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008.
"It is now more difficult for our players when they play in India and there is more pressure on them because of the treatment they get from the spectators," he said.
Bajwa was manager of the Pakistan team that finished 12th in the World Cup held in New Delhi earlier this year and was removed from the manager's post as a result of the poor show.In the Commonwealth Games, Pakistan finished sixth in the hockey event.
Bajwa said players had told him about the pressures they faced in the Commonwealth Games because of the crowd behaviour.
"It is disappointing for this to happen. I am not making excuses for our team losing to India but there is greater pressure on them now," he added.
Ashraf said the players came in for some "strong insults and at times even abusive language when they played in the Commonwealth Games."
"It was a bit too much for the players the way the spectators kept away at us and reminding us we were Pakistanis," he said.
"Certainly it seems after the Mumbai incident the spectators try to make life difficult for us whenever we play in India. It happened to us throughout the Commonwealth Games which is unfortunate because sports is sports," Ashraf said.Pakistan were beaten by India in both the World Cup and Commonwealth Games.
Ashraf, however, maintained that his team didn't play badly in the Games.
"We fought hard against champions Australia losing by just one goal and if you see India lost to them by eight goals. I am sure in the Asian Games our players will give a much more improved performance," he said.
Next Year's Champions Trophy hockey is also planned in India with the FIH agreeing to give wild card entries to Pakistan and India for the competition.PTI