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Pakistan chief coach replaced for Champions Trophy

KARACHI, Nov 11 (Reuters) Pakistan's head coach Islahuddin Siddiqui is furious at being replaced for the Champions Trophy world hockey tournament in Kuala Lumpur after he injured his foot.

''I have left the training camp in protest. I was not consulted by the federation in this decision to rest me for the Champions Trophy,'' the former Olympian said today.

Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Khalid Mehmood told Reuters: ''He was hit by a ball during a practice session and his foot has been put in a plaster. We have decided to send our chief selector as chief coach for the tournament.'' Islahuddin countered: ''My plaster comes off in 10 days while the team leave on the 24th.'' Chief selector Khawaja Zakauddin, 70, said he was surprised to be chosen as head coach but hoped Islahuddin would return to take charge after the Champions Trophy, which runs from November 29 to December 9.

The PHF announced a 20-man squad for the tournament on Sunday with captain Rehan Butt dropped due to fitness problems and forward Ehsanullah and penalty corner specialist Imran Warsi also out with injuries.

Pakistan have not won a major international hockey title since last winning the World Cup in 1994.

The country lost the right to host the Champions Trophy this year after participating teams refused to travel to Lahore because of security concerns and the International Hockey Federation moved the event to Malaysia.


Story first published: Monday, November 12, 2007, 0:02 [IST]
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