KARACHI: A group of former Olympians and international hockey players have criticised those who came down hard on PHF administration after the poor performance of Pakistan in the Asian games.
Around a dozen former stars gathered at Karachi Press Club (KPC) and spoke in support of PHF on Monday.Former Pakistan captain Nasir Ali, along with Olympian Ayaz Mehmood, said that some former Olympians and international players criticised PHF only to get the PHF chiefs removed and themselves occupy the positions.
They said that entire hockey fraternity was dejected on the defeats of Pakistan in the semi-final and in the third position match.
They said Pakistan played well at Asian Games, scoring 45 goals and conceding only three. Their overall performance was much better than the past, they said and added that the margin of defeats was only one goal, whereas previously the Green-shirts had been losing by big margins.
“But those former Olympians who have held coaching positions several times in the past are now crying because they want the positions for themselves,” Nasir said. “When they coached Pakistan suffered much bigger and humiliating defeats,” he added.
He said that PHF provided the team best facilities of training and opportunities to compete against European teams. The caretaker federal government did not provide funds but PHF president Khalid Khokhar made the arrangements using his own resources to send the team to participate in the Asian Games, he added.
Nasir said that PHF appointed Roelant Oltmans, one of the most competent coaches, for the training of the Green-shirts. PHF appointed an Australian physical trainer to improve the fitness of players, introduced most advanced technology, and arranged worthwhile foreign tours, he added.
Ayaz claimed that former officials and coaches who were now talking against PHF themselves destroyed the national game with their wrongdoings and nepotism.
The former players said that they wanted to inform the nation and the newly formed PTI government that there was no example in Pakistan hockey history of such rapid progress in terms of infrastructure and domestic events as had been seen under the current administration.
Infrastructure has been developed, quite a few departmental teams have been revived, and six new championships have been introduced with handsome amounts in prize money in the last two year, they added.
They added that the PHF president and secretary did whatever they could for the promotion of the national game. PHF management paid all the dues of the players and the officials and sent the team for Asian Games, even after the caretaker government did not provide funds, they said.
They vowed that they would continue supporting PHF administration. Also present on the occasion were Olympians Kashif Jawad, Saleem Shairwani, Qamar Ibrahim, Anees Ahmed, Sameer Hussain, Nasir Ahmed, and Mushtaq Ahmed, and internationals Mumtaz Haider, Safdar Abbas, and Jan Muhammad.