Pakistan's World Cup failure sparks angry protests

KARACHI (Reuters) - Pakistan's failure to qualify for next year's men's World Cup has sparked angry protests around Karachi, with some fans burning effigies of the players.

"We have such a rich history in hockey, we ruled the world, and today we can't even qualify for the World Cup," former Pakistan captain and Olympian Islahuddin Siddiqui told Reuters. "It is a dark day for the hockey community."

Protesters carried banners demanding the resignation of the country's hockey officials.

Pakistan has a proud history in the game, having won four World Cups, in 1971, 1978, 1982 and 1994, and three Olympic gold medals. But since 1994 they have not won a major global title.

Their 2014 World Cup dream was ended when they lost 2-1 to South Korea in the semi-finals of the Asia Cup on Friday.

The failure dominated headlines in Saturday's newspapers, while television channels also gave the story extensive coverage, pointing out that it was a black day for Pakistan's national sport.

(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)