LAHORE Pakistan: If the pretournament statements of the officials of the Pakistan Hockey Federation and the members and selectors of the Pakistan hockey team are anything to go by then the recently concluded Champions Trophy Hockey Tournament held in Amsterdam, Holland, was supposed to signify Pakistan’s hockey reincarnation. What actually happened in that pretty land of tulips is now a tale for the history books, and a morbid one at that.

To say that Pakistan’s performance in the tournament was ignominiously humiliating and dismal may be considered an understatement by most of the “optimist fans of Pakistan hockey whose hopes were ballooned beyond proportions by the empty claims of our hockey administrators. But for anyone who has not let his vision be clouded by the gimmicks of the PHF and who has logically and systematically analyzed the rise and (more importantly) the fall of the Pakistan hockey team in the last decade, the performance at Amsterdam takes a new (and less depressing) dimension.

“That Pakistan on its current form, would never be able to make it to the medals stand at Amsterdam should have been cleared and evident to any functioning hockey loving mind. The performance of the Pakistan team on its recent foreign jaunts was made on the basis and foundation of the hopes elevation exercise by the PHF propaganda unit was in essence a totally defunct yardstick of evaluation. Our performance on these tours was improved, no doubt but nowhere did our team show even the slightest signs of reconquering the heights which were theirs by rights till recently. The law sparks of resurgence that did come our way occasionally resulted in swelling of hopes on the part of the general public.

BUENOS AIRES, Reuter: Argentine world cup winning seccer goalkeeper Nery Pumpido is recovering from surgery to reattach a finger he lost in a freak accident during practice, River Plate Club doctor Jorge Butaro said today.

Pumpido, who helped ‘Argentina win their second world title in Mexico last year. jumped up to touch the crossbar, caught his wedding ring on a nail and virtually pulled off the ring finger of his left hand, Butaro said.

TRIVANDRUM: The second National Games to be held here in December, will have 28 sports including canoeing, bowling and tackwando, the organizers said.

ABU DHABI: Shiny Abraham hopes to win a gold medal at the Seoul Olympics next year, and then marry. “I just have another two years of. running left, and then I will think of marriage”, she told’ reporters here. The 22. year old athlete from Kerala is engaged to India’s ace swimmer Wilson Cherian, By suggesting that Asian Games in Korea and the World Cup in England were just a passing phase and that on these foreign trips were had recaptured the glory of the early 80’s , the Hockey Federation and the Hockey Scribes played on the gullibility of the general public ineffective balm to their dented hockey egos elevated their aspirations to limits that were well beyond the demarcations of intelligence and candour.

The tiny flicker of hope that was seen on the European tours was translated or rather mistranslated by us into the beacon of future glory and forced the nation to set its hope on a pedestal that was simply unattainable on the team’s present form. Here one should also give the devil its due by’ saying that most officials of the PHF sincerely and truly believed that this tournament would mark the resurgence of our team. Infract, so confident were they of this unlikely eventuality that they sent a strengthened Press team to cover the event and encouraged the Pakistan television to arrange live coverage of the event.

The safer and the more logical course for the PHF would have been to keep the publicity and hopes at a lower key so that whatever good luck came our way could have been cherished for its truer face value. Anyone who saw the decay of our team at Seoul and London would vouch that champions do not fall this way and those who do fall then do not rise in the manner that the PHF in particular and the public in general were envisaging. If our performance at Amsterdam is now compared to our showings at Seoul and London, one would have to accept that the movement has been in the forward direction even though the progress has been less than one expected.

CALLINGWOOD, Ontario: India won World Youth Championship trophy for wrestling here. Its wrestlers won 3 golds, 5 silvers, and 2 bronze in free style wrestling.

The trophy was presented to Dhara Singh, manager of Indian team.

The wrestlers best, competitors from 22 countries, including Canada.

U.S.A. England, France, Italy and New Zealand.

Article extracted from this publication >>  August 7, 1987