Former hockey players have urged the people to support the Pakistan hockey team as they prepare to take part in the Asian Games 2018 in the Indonesian city of Jakarta.
“The team is being considered favorites to win a gold medal in the Asian Games,” former captain Nasir Ali said on Saturday at a press conference in Karachi. “The team and the hockey federation need your support during at this critical moment,” he said.
“Criticism will have an impact on their focus and will affect their game.”
The former hockey player said that the side will lose a “tremendous opportunity” to win the gold medal in the Asian Games 2018 and qualifying for the next Olympics if this criticism continues.
He said Pakistan Hockey Federation President Brigadier (retd) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar’s assurance to resolve the players’ salary issue was a welcome gesture.
Saleem Sherwani said that the Pakistan team is performing fantastically and have been undefeated in the Commonwealth Games and beat world champions Argentina. He asked everyone to boost the morale of the team by supporting it instead of bringing it down.
Safdar Abbas added that winning the gold medal in the Asian Games will prove to be a key factor in earning the respect the team had lost in the sport. He added, “Those Olympians who criticise athletes without any reason should actually be supporting the team.”
Jan Muhammad Jani said that they contacted other legends and Olympians who have expressed their support for the team.
Former Olympians and hockey players Kashif Jawwad, Anees Ahmed, Nasir Ahmed, Mumtaz Haider, Mubashir Mukhtar and Latafat Shah were also present.