NEW DELHI (AFP) Former Olympians and coaches on Wednesday lamented the poor showing by Asian teams at the mens field hockey World Cup, saying Europe and Australia were now the masters of the game. None of the three Asian teams in the 12-nation tournament - South Korea, India and Pakistan - qualified for Thursdays semi-finals, the first time since 1998 the continent will not be represented. Defending champions Germany, seeking a hat-trick of titles to add to their Beijing Olympic gold medal, face England, and Australia clash with the Netherlands for a place in the final. It is quite deplorable how Asian standards have fallen, former India great Balbir Singh, 85, a three-time Olympic gold medallist, told AFP. India, a World Cup winner in 1975, won the last of their eight Olympic gold medals in 1980 and failed to qualify for the Beijing Games for the first time. Pakistan have won an unprecedented four World Cup titles, but have not won a major competition since their last Cup win in 1994 in Sydney. Pakistan fared the worst among Asian teams in the current tournament, forced into a play-off for the 11th-12th places against lowly Canada after ending the league with four defeats and one win. India, who qualified for the World Cup only by virtue of being the hosts, will fight for the 7-8 positions with Argentina on Friday, an improvement from their 11th place finish in the last World Cup in 2006. Asian champions South Korea narrowly failed to qualify for the semi-finals after beating the Netherlands 2-1 in their last league match on Tuesday. If the Koreans had netted one more goal, they would have levelled the Dutch on goal difference and advanced to the knockout rounds by virtue of winning their league encounter. Korean coach Shin Seok-Kyo blamed his teams lack of preparations for failing to finish among the top four, but admitted Asian standards had fallen. We prepared in cold weather before coming to India, but that is not an excuse, said Shin, a former international. It is difficult to believe no Asian team is in the semi-finals. We all need to improve, and improve fast. Balbir acknowledged that the speedy Koreans were best suited among all Asian teams to match the power of the Europeans and Australians. They are as fit as anyone and play excellent hockey, he said. Players from India and Pakistan lack fitness, ball control and speed which Europeans have mastered. Indias lone World Cup-winning captain Ajit Pal Singh blamed poor defensive tactics and a weak game plan for the early exit of the subcontinents teams. Both India and Pakistan were let down by a defence that leaked badly and there appeared to be no tactics in sight, he said. The foreign teams attacked with lightening speed and left our defence stranded. Akhtar Rasool, who captained Pakistan during their victorious World Cup campaign in 1982, said proper planning was needed to put Asian hockey back on track. Its a huge task to start from scratch, but that is what we need to do, he said. We must restore the qualities of ball control that we were once famous for and also improve fitness and speed.