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Our players are forced to deprioritize Pakistan: Shahnaz Sheikh

Karachi: Pakistan hockey coach Shahnaz Shiekh believes that top Pakistan hockey players will soon make national colors their second priority and would look for better financial opportunities abroad.

“They (Pakistan hockey team players) performed brilliantly in India and still they got no recognition. If such achievements are not worthy of recognition in Pakistan, then I believe our players would soon be looking for better opportunities abroad and play in league hockey, which offers lucrative contracts,” Shahnaz, who is also a former legendary player, told ARYNEWS.tv.

Pakistan earlier this month defeated World No 2 The Netherlands and archrival India to cruise into the final of Hockey Champions Trophy after a lapse of sixteen years.

“Had not India pressurized FIH to ban our couple of players and it had not entangled us into a controversy, we would have even won the final against Germany. The team, which was a blend of young and senior players, played brilliantly. So I believe they deserve recognition from both moral and financial perspectives,” Shahnaz said.

“India had announced Indian ten million rupees for its team for defeating us in semifinals. They have spent much money on their team for preparation of the tournament but our players defeated them. And yet our boys receive nothing from anyone; not even from the government,” Shahnaz lamented.

“If we deal in such a way with our national heroes, we would soon lose them to foreign leagues. They have a family to look after and it is their peak time to earn. Athletes with few achievements are remunerated well in foreign countries. But our players even after performing well at international level are not considered worth of rewards. So I would say don’t expect much from them in future,” disappointed Shahnaz said.

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