ISLAMABAD: As the time is running out for Pakistan to prepare a competitive outfit for the Olympics qualifiers, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has sought Pakistan Sports Board’s (PSB) support and assistance to establish the national training camp here at the Bunda Ground as early as possible.
Rana Mujahid, secretary PHF, told The News that a request has been sent to PSB Director General Shoaib Khoso to help establish training camp for the national seniors to prepare for the Olympic Qualifying round that will start in mid-January 2024 in Oman.
“Pakistan hockey is facing one of the toughest times as making it to the Paris Olympics is a real challenge for us. We would take all the possible steps and make every effort to raise a team that can beat the best in the tournament. For that very reason we want to start the team’s training as early as possible,” secretary PHF said. He also emphasized the urgency of starting the camp at the earliest.
“Just less than two months are left before start of the Olympic qualifiers and we have yet to start our preparations. Even two months for such a big event are not enough. We are already late and eager to see the national team’s probables getting on the field for training,” he said.
When it comes to team’s training for the Asian Games or Olympics, the PSB extends all possible support for the purpose. Even though the PHF was suspended, the PSB provided all the financial, boarding and lodging support to the team in training and preparations for the Asian Games held recently in China. Again when it comes to a team’s preparation for the Olympics or Olympics qualifying round, it is the responsibility of the PSB to extend all possible support.
“We have recently sent a request to the PSB to help establish the national camp at the Bunda Ground at the earliest. The PSB has always been cooperative when it comes to team’s training and preparation. Hopefully we would receive their consent at the earliest,” Mujahid said.
Pakistan have very good chances of making it to the semi-finals from the Pool A that also includes Great Britain, Malaysia and China. The Pool B in Oman includes Germany, New Zealand, Canada and Chile. Top three teams from the Oman leg of the event will make it to the Paris Olympics. Say even if Pakistan lose in the semi-finals they will be having another chance of making it to Paris Olympics by emerging victorious in third position play-off match.