Pakistan hockey captain opens up about qualifying for World Cup, Olympics

Ammad Butt led Pakistan to the final of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup recently

By Web Desk
May 13, 2024
Pakistan hockey team celebrates after scoring a goal. - Facebook/FlashSukan

Pakistan hockey team’s captain Ammad Butt believes that the national side can qualify for the World Cup and Olympics if proper support continues.

Pakistan team recently impressed during the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia but lost in the final to Japan on penalty shootout.

Pakistan hockey was at an all-time low when they failed to qualify for the Olympics, where they won three gold medals, for the third consecutive time earlier this year. Additionally, the Green Shirts also failed to qualify for the World Cup, where they bagged gold four times in the past, last year.

However, the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup proved to be a breath of fresh air for hockey fans after Pakistan qualified for the final of the event for the first time in 13 years.

“The team was made on merit and was given full support which is why we were able to get good results. If this continues, we will soon qualify for the Olympics and World Cup once again,” Butt said while talking to Geo News.

He also urged the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) to ensure that Dutch coach Roelant Oltmans is given a longer contract.

“Foreign coaches are qualified and thorough professionals. There are also some coaches in Pakistan but they can’t match the foreigners,” he said.

“The current coach [Oltmans] has only been given two tournaments but I think it will be unfair to judge him on a couple of events. We need him with the team for around five to six years in order to become world champions again,” he added.

He also called for permanent jobs for the players in order to ease their financial woes.

“If the players don’t have jobs and aren’t facilitated, we will never be able to compete with the best teams in the world,” he concluded.

Pakistan’s performance in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup should be a morale booster for the team especially because the team has to feature in the FIH Nations Cup in Gniezno, Poland, from May 31 to June 9 as well.

The Nations Cup is important because the winning team will have the opportunity to play in the FIH Hockey Pro League for the 2024-25 season.