Pak forms committee to probe Beijing show

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Lahore, Sep 9 (UNI) The disastrous performance of the national hockey team at the Beijing Olympics has prompted the Federal Sports Ministry to constitute a three-member committee to probe the reasons behind the debacle.

The committee will be headed by member National Assembly (MNA) Rana Farooq Saeed along with Olympians Shahbaz Ahmed (senior), and former international Abdul Waheed.

Expressing his views on the declining standard of hockey in the country, Shahbaz Ahmed said the only way forward was to focus on the talent available at the grassroot level.

''At the moment, the only way to produce results to initiate training camps for 12-14 year olds and scout out new talent,'' he opined.

Debunking the idea that foreign coaches can produce better results, the former world cup winning captain asserted that local coaches are best for Pakistan hockey.

''If you keep a foreign coach, he will produce results in the next 4 or 5 years. However, that does not mean that a local coach cannot do the same. A foreign coach cannot have that same passion and commitment that a local coach will have for Pakistan hockey,'' he said.

''A foreign coach will not be able to relate to the local players and since Pakistan have produced fine coaches recently, why not let them grow?'' he added.

He also called for penalty corner specialist, Sohail Abbas' inclusion in the national squad.

''There can't be a greater setback than this. You have a player who has made a name for himself and has been declared the best in the world by scoring the most goals, if such a person is a bit indisciplined, it makes no difference.'' UNI XC AB UCS1326

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