Former hockey players on Saturday urged fans to support the national team as they prepare to take part in the Asian Games 2018 to be held in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang from August 18 to September 2, A group of former international players and Olympians expressed their support for the Green-shirts during a press conference here at the Karachi Press Club.
“The team can win a gold medal in the Asian Games,” former captain Nasir Ali said. “The players and federation need our support in this crucial moment,” he added.
Nasir said that any criticism will have a negative impact on the team. He also welcomed the assurance given by PHF president Brig (retd) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar for the resolution of players’ salary issue.
Saleem Sherwani asked everyone to help boost the team’s morale.
“The team is playing well. Our defence and midfield is strong and can prove dangerous for any opponent,” he said.
Safdar Abbas said that winning gold medal at Asiad will help Green-shirts regain their confidence.
“The Olympians who criticize the players without any reason should actually be supporting them,” he said.
Jan Mohammad Jani revealed that they had contacted some other former players and they have also expressed their support for the team.
“Pakistan has already qualified for Hockey World Cup and there is now an opportunity of direct qualification for 2020 Olympics. We must encourage our players to play well in the Asian Games and return with a gold medal,” he said.
Former players Kashif Jawwad, Anees Ahmed, Nasir Ahmed, Mumtaz Haider, Mubashir Mukhtar and Latafat Shah were also present.
Syed Intikhab Ali