PHF appoints Junaid hockey coach as foreign coaches refuse to work in 'violent' Pak

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Lahore, Apr.17 (ANI): Former Olympian Khawaja Mohammad Junaid has been named the new coach of the Pakistan hockey team after foreign coaches refused to take up the job citing security concerns.

Junaid will be replacing Shahid Ali Khan, who was sacked after Pakistan's horrific performance in the World Cup in New Delhi last month.

The four-time world champions finished last in the 12-nation spectacle.

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) was in talks with several foreign coaches for the post, but they rejected the offers due to the country's precarious security conditions.

The PHF contacted a number of foreign coaches, including Germany's Paul Lissek, but due to security concerns foreign coaches showed their reluctance to come to Pakistan at this stage," The Daily Times quoted PHF president Qasim Zia, as saying.

"Under these circumstances Junaid was the best choice," Zia added.

Junaid's first assignment will be next month's Sultan Azlan Shah Cup to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia from May 6-16.

According to sources, Lissek had almost accepted the offer of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Asif Bajwa during the World Cup last month.

Lissek, who masterminded Germany's rise as one of the most successful hockey teams in the world, was initially reluctant but later conveyed his willingness to take over as Pakistan's head coach, sources said.

However, the continuous terror attacks in Pakistan made him to change his mind again and he turned down the offer.

Lissek has served as Malaysia's head coach for several years and almost signed a contract to work with India a couple of years back.

Pakistan's hockey team has been going through a really bad time in the recent past. The PHF had sacked the entire team management after the World Cup disaster, and the whole team had also resigned after the tournament. (ANI)

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