Asian Games: Lack of exposure will pose problems, says Imran

Sunday, August 24th, 2014 9:52:32 by


Pakistan national hockey team’s captain Muhammad Imran rued Pakistan Hockey Federation’s (PHF) failure to arrange any foreign tours for the greenshirts since October last year, terming it a setback in preparations for the Asian Games.

“Our team is quite young and would face difficulties in adjusting to the international environment, but I believe the coaches must have planned ahead for it,” Imran told The Express Tribune.

Recently, the PHF called off a tour to Spain due to ‘lack of interest’ from the Spanish Hockey Federation (SHF) and persisting visa problems.

“The SHF is not interested in pitting their national team against Pakistan,” said PHF Secretary Rana Mujahid.

“It is, therefore, better to fly off to Incheon early where we will not only play matches against the Korean national team, but also against local various clubs before the initiation of the Games,” added Rana while defending his decision to depart for Korea early on September 10.

“It will certainly help our national team in adjusting to the conditions and will provide the team much-needed match practice.”

Pakistan, India and hosts Korea have been placed in the same pool at the Asian Games, with Imran terming it a tough draw due to the other two teams’ highly competitive nature.

“India and Korea will be at an advantage due to the amount of international exposure they have at their disposal.

“However, I believe we have the potential to handle them,” said Imran.

The Asian Games are set to start from September 19 in Incheon, Korea.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2014.

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