Pakistan hockey coach Akhtar Rasool on Wednesday created a big controversy when he kicked out experienced forward Shakeel Abbasi from the national training camp for fasting. The development is likely to ignite discussion on whether sportsmen should fast during matches or training camps.
Rasool said he had taken disciplinary action against Abbasi for violating instructions and policy. It was decided very clearly before the camp began that no player will fast because during fasting it is not possible to focus on your training and drills, Rasool said.
If Abbasi wants to fast he should do it at home. This is a national camp and all players are required to focus on their training. The forthcoming Asia Cup is a do or die situation for us if we dont win it we can qualify for the World Cup, he said. Abbasi confirmed he had defied the orders but insisted that he could focus even when he is keeping a fast. I believe I can do both things and I believe keeping fast or not should be an individuals personal decision, he added.
PHF in a fix
The secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation,Asif Bajwa said the matter was being looked into but it was a fact that before the camp began the players and management had sat together and decided no one will fast in the camp.
It was a policy decision taken after consensus but we will now look into this matter and see what is to be done, Bajwa said.