Constant changes in the rules of field hockey have affected the performance of former giants of the game - India and Pakistan - while benefiting the Europeans the most, according to ace Pakistan forward Rehan Butt.
"The rules of the game are constantly being chopped and changed by the strong European lobby. They have removed the off side rule and have also done away with the rule, which penalised 'turning'. Such rule changes have been done to the detriment of India and Pakistan," Butt told PTI via a teleconference call.
Butt pointed out that officials from neither India nor Pakistan are strong enough to prevent the change of rules from being implemented at the international level.
"The European lobby is very strong", said the 31-year-old striker, who was a member of the Pakistan team that won the Champions Trophy bronze medal for three straight yearsÂ 2002, 2003 and 2004.
Butt, who is one of the Pakistan players signed up by Nimbus Sport and Indian Hockey Federation - the joint promoters of the forthcoming World Series Hockey, said the tournament was very important for his career.
"It is a very important tournament for me," said the former Pakistan skipper, who would be leading one of the eight teams in the competition to be held from December 15, 2011 to January 22, 2012 in eight cities across India.