| File picture of Pakistan’s Rehan Butt, who has kicked off a fresh controversy
Islamabad: The Pakistan hockey team’s recent string of poor performances seems to have taken its toll on the players as two senior members of the side exchanged abuses during a training session.
Surprisingly, they were not even reprimanded by the Pakistan Hockey Federation.
The two players — Rehan Butt and Sameer Hussain — traded abuse during a practice game at the Steel Mills ground in Karachi where the 18-member squad is undergoing a preparatory camp for next week’s Champions Trophy in Amstelveen, Holland.
It all started when Hussain failed to get possession of a loose ball and was criticised by Butt, which was followed by exchange of hot words and abusive language.
Both the players almost came to blows as Butt rushed towards Hussain, apparently to hit him, but was refrained from doing so by teammates and manager Abdul Rashid Jr.
The manager, who asked Butt to leave the field and pacified him by offering tea and snacks on the sidelines after the tiff, later tried to downplay the incident.
Meanwhile, Pakistan have expressed doubts over sending their full-strength team to Amstelveen after four key members came out with “injuries and fitness problems” in the camp.
The four are forwards Mudassar Ali Khan, Mohammed Asim, half-back Dilawar Hussain and full-back Zeeshan Ashraf.
“Obviously we are worried and praying they regain full fitness before the Champions Trophy,” coach Tahir Zaman said.
Germany are set to field a second-string team for the meet.
Germany decided against fielding their main team in the six-nation championship as they are more keen to play the European Nations Cup in Spain next month which is the qualifying tournament for the Athens Olympics. (PTI)