LAHORE: In a potentially alarming development for the national game already facing multiple crises, Pakistan Hockey Federation secretary Shahbaz Ahmed Senior feared that if the government does not release the grant of Rs80 million for the federation within a week, it will be tough for the PHF to field national team in the World Cup starting later this month.
“The PHF has directly written a letter to the Prime Minister Secretariat for the release of Rs80 million grant as the World Cup is around the corner. And if Pakistan does not succeed in fielding its team in the World Cup it will defame the country’s name and [as a result] its massive damage will also be felt by our hockey in future too,” Shahbaz told reporters ahead of the national training camp that starts.
“Pakistan can face a heavy fine from the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for not fielding a team in the World Cup, for any reason,” he warned.
The 14th edition of the World Cup, the game’s pinnacle event, featuring teams from 16 countries — divided into four pools — will be staged in Bhubaneswar, India from Nov 28 to Dec 16.
Responding to a question, Shahbaz said though the PHF was in contact with the Ministry of Inter-provincial Coordination, a direct letter had been written to the PM Secretariat to get the said grant at the earliest as time was running out.
Moreover, Shahbaz added, the PHF was also trying to get some sponsorship from the private sector to address the financial crisis.
To a question, he said the PHF would soon announce the hiring of Tauqir Dar and Danish Kaleem for the national team management.
“Tauqir has been serving hockey by running Dar Academy while Danish is serving there as coach. Both are involved in hockey activities, so they can be the best choices,” Shahbaz reckoned.
He said a three-member committee would be formed soon to probe the spat occurred between head coach Hasan Sardar and then-assistant coach Mohammad Saqlain during the recently-held Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat. As a result of the unfortunate incident, Saqlain had to quit the post during the championship.
“Hasan as team head coach and manager has vast powers as he is responsible for every result. Therefore, he should have like-minded persons in the team management,” Shahbaz maintained.
It may be mentioned that Hasan recommended the name of Tauqir as head coach but the latter had refused to work on this post. However, he agreed to join the team as assistant manager.
Tauqir, on his part, had recommended the name of Danish for the position of assistant coach in place of Saqlain.
During the FIH meeting in India, Shahbaz said, he held a joint meeting with the officials of FIH, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan on organising an international tournament in Pakistan next month.
“All the participating countries have promised to inform about their availability for the said tournament in a week’s time,” the PHF secretary said.
Meanwhile, Shahbaz expressed the determination to make an all-out effort to hold the Pakistan Hockey League (PHL) within the next two months.
“I believe we will have to hold our league on priority basis. This is necessary for the development and growth of our young players,” Shahbaz said. “The successful holding of the league will pave the way for Pakistan to regain glory in the national game.
“I believe I am in a better position now to invite international players for our [planned] league. I’m sure I will manage to convince world’s renowned players to come to Pakistan for this league,” he vowed.
Shahbaz, however, said the PHF would need support of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and the government to hold the prestigious event in the country. “We are looking forward to the PSB and the government for organising this league.”
The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily
Jan 08, 2019 0