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Commonwealth Games: Pakistan's men's hockey team miss Glasgow Back To Main
An internal sporting dispute means Pakistan's men's hockey team will not
play at next year's Commonwealth Games.
The Pakistan Olympic Association split into two factions earlier this year, one recognised by the
International Olympic Committee and the other backed by the state-run Pakistan Sports Board.
The Pakistan Hockey Federation ignored the IOC-backed faction of the POA as it relies on the staterun board.
As a result, it showed no interest in sending a team to the Glasgow Games.
The country's women's team was not scheduled to take part because of its ranking.
POA president Arif Hasan said the decision would damage hockey, a hugely popular sport in
"Every Pakistani has emotional association with hockey, but the apathy from the hockey officials has
led to this exclusion," said Hasan, who added that Pakistan would be sending athletes to Glasgow to
compete in other sports.
Pakistan have won four hockey world titles and three Olympic golds, but the men's team failed to
progress from the group stages at the London Olympics and they have failed to qualify for next
year's World Cup.
The team's poor performances forced the federation's secretary, Asif Bajwa, to resign last week.
And former players have demanded changes in the country's hockey set-up and threatened to
destroy their medals unless the government addresses the slump in the sport.
The two parallel Olympic bodies to emerge from the Pakistan Olympic Association have been locked
in a power struggle, risking suspension by the IOC.
The world body has now summoned officials of both factions and government officials to Lausanne to
try to settle the dispute.
Michael Hooper, chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation, told BBC Scotland that his
organisation had given the POA a month beyond the original 16 August deadline to submit an entry
for the 2014 Games.
However, the POA did not receive the assurance it required from the country's hockey federation that
it would provide a team and so it made no application to come to Glasgow.
"Unfortunately common sense hasn't prevailed. It's sad," said Hooper.
"The POA did everything they could to get the PHF to work with them but it simply did not happen.
We have now issued an invitation to the first reserve on our list to send a team instead."
Pakistan finished sixth in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India.
Their best finish was a silver medal in the 2006 Games in Melbourne.
Meanwhile, applications for tickets for the hockey semi-finals and finals have outstripped the capacity
of the new stadium at Glasgow Green.
However, with matches being played on all 11 days of competition, organisers say there is a good
chance of ticket applications being successful, especially for the preliminary stages.