KARACHI: Pakistan hockey squad has left for Dhaka to take part in the Asian Champions Trophy without any goalkeeper in their line-up due to visa issues.
Asif Bajwa, the secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), said both the goalkeepers in the Pakistan camp, Amjad Ali and Mazhar Abbas, were not issued visas for Bangladesh.
“Because of the unusual situation the squad has left for Dhaka without any goalkeepers,” Bajwa said.
He said that as an emergency measure, the PHF has decided to send the two goalkeepers who recently represented Pakistan in the Junior World Cup in India — Abdullah and Waqar.
“Since they have got Bangladesh visas we are sending them now to Dhaka as we can’t take any more risks of waiting for visas to arrive for the senior goalkeepers,” he said.
Interestingly the PHF on the recommendation of goalkeeping coach, Ahmed Alam had called up seniors, Mazhar and Amjad, to the Champions Trophy camp.
“Initially we had decided to keep the junior team goalkeepers for the senior event as well but after the team’s poor show in the Junior World Cup the goalkeeping coach felt it would be best to recall the senior goalies,” Bajwa said.
He said this was the reason why visas had not been obtained on time for Amjad and Mazhar as they were last minute additions to the camp while Abdullah and Waqar had visas issued.