Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary general Asif Bajwa has claimed the country should be given "special treatment" in its bid to qualify for next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo.
According to The News, Bajwa also said the PHF had been shocked after the team had been omitted from the list of competing nations at the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Series finals, which offer a pathway towards Olympic qualification.
It comes despite the fact Pakistan had not entered the FIH Hockey Series Open, which enables teams to qualify for the Series Finals, as their world ranking is too high.
They had instead applied to participate in the FIH Pro League, the top-tier, home-and-away competition launched by the sport's worldwide governing body earlier this year.
But Pakistan were thrown out of the Pro League, which also offers teams the chance to book a place at a Tokyo 2020 qualifier, after they were unable to fulfil their opening three matches.
Pakistan could still secure a spot at next year's Olympics through the FIH world rankings but Bajwa said that would be a "tough ask" as they will not be playing many international matches owing to their Pro League exclusion.
The PHF official added that the national governing body would write to FIH President Narinder Batra in an effort to revive their qualification hopes.
"It’s a shock for us that we have been left out of all the qualifying events mainly due to our failure to honour the FIH Pro League commitments," Bajwa said.
"Our qualification has been left to the condition of improvement in rankings which is a tough ask considering the fact that Pakistan have hardly any tournaments to play in these months.
"Pakistan has served the sport in thick and thin.
"It is due to Pakistan and India’s contributions that hockey flourished internationally in the 60s and 70s.
"Pakistan initiated the World Cup, Junior World Cup and Champions Trophy and helped the sport take root in Olympics.
"Pakistan needs special treatment in this hour of need.
"What we want is to make the FIH realise that Pakistan is an important hockey-playing nation and as such should be given an opportunity to try to qualify for the Olympic Games."
In a statement sent to insidethegames, a spokesperson for the FIH said the worldwide body was unable to add Pakistan to the Series Finals as they had originally entered the Pro League.
The FIH has not yet received any letter from the PHF.
"With the announcement of the non-participation of Pakistan in the 2019 FIH Pro League back in January, it was not possible to integrate the Asian team in the FIH Series Finals," the spokesperson said.
"Firstly, Pakistan has not played the Hockey Series Open which enabled teams to qualify to the FIH Series Finals.
"Secondly, when the Hockey Series competition format was agreed, Pakistan was not part of the teams accessing directly to the FIH Series Finals – based on their position in the FIH World Rankings – since Pakistan had applied to play in the FIH Pro League."
Pakistan finished on the men's hockey podium at every Olympics from Melbourne 1956 to Barcelona 1992.
They won gold three gold medals during that time – at Rome 1960, Mexico City 1968 and Los Angeles 1984 – but have not claimed a medal since the Games in the Spanish city.
Pakistan failed to qualify for the Olympic hockey tournament for the first time at Rio 2016.