"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Iqbal_Hadi_Zaidi
Full Name: Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
User since: 26/Aug/2008
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Consolation medal and not bronze medal


The latest news read at 0750 my time and 0950 PST on Sunday 8th Dec saying that Pakistan defeated India in semi final losers hockey match at the Champion Trophy being played in Australia and earned a bronze medal as third placed to me is like earning a consolation medal and not bronze medal though officially speaking it is bronze medal.


Honestly speaking decades back, and not years for sure, Pakistan hockey team won gold medal at Olympics level followed by Asian games and Champion trophy and for quite a long time our hockey team could be seen on victory stand without reference to the slot we secured but now it is such a past history that hardly even our hockey officials know by heart as to when did we win last medal, where and at what position which is very much regretted to be honest. Pakistan Hockey Federation which has huge funds and very heavy management had never ever been disbanded even when our hockey team was knocked out at earlier stages very well proves that Pakistan government continued extending full patronage to PHF so that it can revive our status and earn some medals at some point of time but it had been nothing more than hollow wishful thinking. We kept on participating in as many games as possible but tough luck winning an even a bronze medal was way beyond and our hockey playing squad came back as empty handed as it was when it flew out from Pakistan.


We have tried many different combinations like retaining most the seniors and introduced a couple of new faces but it did not work out. Another combination was to keep half of seniors and half of juniors but again to no avail. Even more juniors and fewer seniors could not fetch the result which our nation wanted. Situations like these demanded very judicious approach and critical analysis as to where did we lack and how? All those who mattered like management board of PHF, coach, manager and captain etc must have been asked very categorically that either they produce good results or they face prosecution and nothing in between but we have never ever resorted to such logistics and the result is right before us that we had to face nothing but humiliation which is not a plus point to be applauded rather minus to be condemned if we have any ray of self respect left in us.


The simple principle of give and taken which is accepted and professed internationally is very much applicable in our game of hockey as well provided someone had thought alike. Right from top to bottom like chairman PHF to down below as a hockey player we have been found to be on receiving end only and none had cared as to what they are supposed to return to their beloved country but if on the contra we had obliged then to either produce result of face due punishment I am sure we had not faced so humiliation whatsoever. It must however be clarified by me in quite crystal clear terms and categorically that it does mean that we had never ever lost had we resorted to accountability but yet our results had not been that disastrous in any case but regretfully we as a nation had never ever believed in give and take or accountability and results are right before us which themselves speak aloud as to what I am hinting to.


In the present hockey championship we had not gone to be placed at number three and earn a bronze medal but this is what we have proved ourselves to be worth of which is not a moment of pleasure in the truest sense of the word and the situation but one way or the other we could not do much in the tournament. In our league matches we just managed to keep ourselves alive and one way or the other we eventually succeeded to move to nest stage though in the past we could not even cross such hurdle. Now when we played in semi final against Holland we were totally exposed and it proved to the world at large as to what we are and how much we can face at a senior round like semi final. We were shaky and lacked cohesion and thrust and the opponents dominated in the whole game. Most of hickey was played in our half and it was not that easy for my 10 players to play in the opponents’ area as they were doing with us but it needs full devotion tinged with dedication and not otherwise. We played more defensively while Dutch were all the time both very aggressive and offensive what matters the most. They trounced us with 5-2 which proves how better they were. Had they finished 5-4 or even 5-3 even then Holland had won the semi final and we had been a certified loser but had not lost our face to the level we defaced ourselves when they finally won against us with score reading as 5-2.


Now when after very long time we got the golden opportune to play against India had we fumbled India and won with big margin then we could have rightly claimed to have compensated our defeat at the hands of Dutch but here we trounced India with just one goal as the result is 3-2 meaning by that have they netted one more time then the game had been in equilibrium and then who knew who wins and who loses. We should take it as ‘compensation medal’ and not ‘bronze medal’ and this I strongly believe will infuse new spirit and ignite our players to play much better in next tournament. I congratulate my national team on winning the compensation medal and I wish that next time they will not only never ever slip back but also earn gold medal and not silver even though it will be an improvement from bronze to silver.


Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait
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