Ammad Butt frustrated by ‘negative impression’ of Pakistan hockey team

Pakistan team recently qualified for final of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

May 17, 2024
Ammad Butt is one of Pakistan's most important players. — X/AmmadButt96

RAWALPINDI: Upon his return to the country after playing the final of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia, Pakistan hockey team’s captain Ammad Butt said that he was frustrated by the negative impression of his side in an exclusive interview with Geo News.

Pakistan lost in the final of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup to Japan on penalty shootout.

"When we returned to the airport, the nation looked very happy, congratulations to the nation. We lost the final of the Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament but won the hearts of the nation,” said Butt.

He asked the nation to keep supporting the sport and their national team.

"Don't give a negative impression of the Pakistan hockey team, support it,” he said.

To regain the hockey glory of the past, Butt thinks that hockey activities should be revived in educational institutions.

“Before the Azlan Shah Tournament, Pakistan hockey was in decline, there was no government support. I request the Pakistan Hockey Federation to revive hockey activities in colleges and universities. The children should be taught the national sport,” the captain of the national hockey team said.

"In the 90s, Pakistan taught hockey to the Western countries now the Western coaches and countries are teaching hockey to Pakistan,” he added.

Butt said that there is no lack of hockey talent in Pakistan and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is working really hard for the development of all sports in the country.

“There is no shortage of hockey talent in Pakistan, if the government provides financial support, the situation of hockey in Pakistan will be even better,” he said.

“Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is working hard not only for hockey but also for other sports. He has said that the issue of jobs for hockey players will be resolved within a week.”

The team also faced heavy criticism that the other teams participating in the Azlan Shah Cup were smaller or weaker teams and that is why the Pakistani team easily got into the finals. Malaysia, Canada, South Korea, Japan and New Zealand were the five teams participating in the tournament other than Pakistan.

Butt denied all these claims and said, “I am not happy with the impression that weak teams participated in the Azlan Shah Tournament”.

The Azlan Shah Hockey tournament was held in Ipoh, Malaysia at the Azlan Shah Stadium from May 4th to May 11th 2024. It was the first time since 2011 that Pakistan reached the final of the tournament.