altSEPTEMBER 16 - PAKISTAN today unveiled a new plan that they hope will see them win the gold medal in the men's hockey tournament at the 2012 London Olympics for the first time since 1984.


The Government in Islamabad launched an inquiry into the performance of the team at the Olympics in Beijing last month after they finished eighth.


A four-year plan has now been launched by the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) that will include hiring foreign coaches, paying the top players and recruiting former stars to train and mentor the current generation.


There are also plans to lead a revival of the sport in Pakistan schools and set up a new national league to help raise standards.


Asif Bajwa, the secretary of the PHF, said: “Pakistan Hockey is at its worst.


"We are at number eight and we should face the reality.


"But if we work from step to step and execute our plan properly than we can improve.


“Past committees always supported ad-hocism and worked to get the results immediately and now we can see the position of Pakistan hockey.


“Therefore now we have a four-year plan on the cards and we need sponsors and departments to step forward and help us in bringing the national sport back to its past glory.


"We need our people to support us."


The PHF also plans to set up centres of excellence around the country to help young players make the transition to international standard.


Bajwa said: “A salary will be given to players and former Olympians will be hired and will be paid, so they will be held responsible for any debacle and action will be taken against them."


Two centres will be set-up in Karachi and one each in Hyderabad, Quetta, Bannu, Peshawar, Abbotabad, Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot and Bhawalpur.


Bajwa said: “We will also set up a institution - development and research - which will function under a foreign coach.


"Its work will be to constitute international level coaching programme and syllabus."


Pakistan has only ever won three gold medals since it started competing in the Olympics at London in 1948, all of them in hockey.


Their first came in Rome in 1960 when they became the first country to beat India after they had won six consectutive titles, a sequence that had started in Los Angeles in 1932.


The last time Pakistan won a medal was in 1992 when they finished third in Barcelona.


Bajwa is confident that they can return to former glories in 2012.


He said: “If we could to execute these plans then we will be among top contender for London Olympics.


"And I believe we can do it."