Ace Pakistani forward Shakeel Abbasi, who was kicked out of the national training camp for fasting, has requested International Hockey Federation (FIH) to avoid organising major tournaments around the holy month of Ramadan.
"I want to request FIH not to organise any major tournament during and around the month of Ramadan. Asia Cup is an important tournament and it is going to be held just after Ramadan where Muslim majority countries like Pakistan, Malaysia and Bangladesh are playing," Abbasi told PTI Bhasha from Rawalpindi.
"There are no major hockey or cricket tournaments during Christmas, similarly they should keep Ramadan in mind while finalising the annual calendar. It is my personal suggestion and I was going to write the FIH about this. I think all national federations should urge them," said the former captain.
Pakistan coach Akhtar Rasool on Wednesday created a big controversy when he expelled Abbasi from the Asia Cup preparatory camp for fasting. Rasool said he had taken disciplinary action against Abbasi for violating instructions and policy because it affects training and drills.
Abbasi however said that he is confident that PHF will find a solution to this issue.
"I have been keeping fast during last 12 years of my career. I kept fast when we had foreign coaches. I can keep focus on training while keeping a fast. I will not break my fast but I hope that PHF will find a solution. I have no regrets and I am very positive about it," he said.
Pakistan have to win the Asia cup, to be held in Malaysia from August 24 to September 1, to qualify for the World Cup 2014. Abbasi conceded that competition will be tougher this time as it is the last chance for all the participating nations.
"Earlier WC qualifiers were held after Asia cup but situation is opposite this time and it is the last chance for all the participating teams. There is a lot on stake for India and Pakistan hence the competition will be tougher and any team can win," Abbasi said.