Pakistan coach Tauqeer Dar anguished over controversies
According to Pakistan coach Tauqeer Dar, Hockey India have initiated an enquiry against them since one of their support staff members was not wearing his accreditation.
The Pakistanis just stopped short of calling it a conspiracy but they are livid nevertheless. Less than 12 hours after their team manager Hasan Sardar claimed that FIH's (International Hockey Federation) decision to suspend their vice-captain Ammad Butt for a physical charge on a Malaysian player during a previous match reeked of bias, the Pakistanis have been pulled up for another error.
According to Pakistan coach Tauqeer Dar, Hockey India have initiated an enquiry against them since one of their support staff members was not wearing his accreditation. "Assistant Coach Danish [Kaleem] and me sit up on the terrace [in the stands] to watch our matches and communicate via walkie-talkie with Hasanbhai and Rehan Butt [assistant coach]. At half time, I sent Danish with some notes to Hasanbhai and when he was coming back, he was stopped by a security guy for not wearing his accreditation — he forgot it in the dressing room.
"The security misbehaved with him. He has asked for their names so we can lodge a complaint. After the game, I told the guard that he should not have let us inside in the first place and that it was foolish to stop us after half-time," said Tauqeer, an Olympic gold medal-winner. On Thursday, they were contacted by the authorities. "An enquiry about our coach [Kaleem] has been lodged by Hockey India. There is a new enquiry every day. The last few days have been very hard. Hasanbhai and me have been running around the whole day for this. Our energies are being wasted on things other than hockey," added Tauqeer, referring to the one-match suspension to their vice captain Ammad as an unfair move. To make matters worse, Pakistan's captain Muhammad Rizwan Sr suffered an injury and is out of the tournament.
Sunday's crucial match
"We are trying our best to get a replacement but getting an Indian visa is not easy for a Pakistani. We have 18 players on paper but two are out [and their reserve goalkeeper is unable to play in the outfield] we are left with 15 outfield players for a crucial last league match against the Netherlands," added Tauqeer, who is hoping against hope that his boys can draw from their mental strength to see them through in their Sunday fixture. "Malaysia coach Roelant Oltmans [Pakistan's former coach] knew all our players and tactics. It was a street fight and luckily we survived [1-1 draw]. Pakistan cannot beat Holland on skill or fitness right now so we have to rely on the players' mental strength and passion for hockey. We believe the place to take revenge is here," he concluded.
A FIH official however, claimed that the complaint was not lodged by Hockey India but by the FIH-appointed tournament director. Danish and Hasan have been called for a hearing today.
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