Amritsar, May 2 : President of the Lahore-based Pakistan Hockey Club Rao Amir Sohail has stated that hockey teams from India and Pakistan should play more matches with each other to improve the standard of the game in the sub-continent.
Speaking on the sidelines of a league match in Amritsar on Thursday, Rao Amir Sohail of Pakistan told the Asian News International in an exclusive interview that the hockey teams from both countries have failed to display standards expected of them.
"To raise the standard their players and regain their old status when India and Pakistan were ruling International hockey, they should play more matches against each other, said Rao Amir Sohail.
"Pakistan and India need to play at all levels to improve their style. There should be an independent institution in both countries to improve hockey, their traditional game, he added.
Over the issue of having a poor infrastructure for Hockey in India and Pakistan, Sohail said: " It is a pity that even though we have plenty of talent in our countries but due to lack of infrastructure the developed countries have left us far behind."
India is facing the same problems like Pakistan in hockey. There is need to improve our style on turf and play more friendly league matches with each other on every level to improve our game to counter the Europeans and other countries.
He expressed satisfaction on reports that efforts are being made to improve the game.
Over the foreign coach issue, Sohail said that he was not against foreign coaches. But we should have learnt from the experiences of our own Olympians like Samir Ulah, Tofique Sahib, Tanvir Sahib and so on, ultimately it would be the game that will benefit.
Sohail appealed the Government of India and Pakistan to keep hockey away from politics "Sports is completely different from politics, it has always brought people closer to each other," he said. By Ravinder Singh Robin
Story first published: Friday, May 2, 2008, 18:19 [IST]