ISLAMABAD: Pakistan hockey finally receives encouraging news as it has been allowed to compete in the qualifying matches for 2020 Tokyo Olympics and at the same time the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has reduced the fine for not playing the Pro League to almost 75 percent.
Brig (R) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, president PHF who along with Federation legal counsel Barrister Majid Bashir appeared before the FIH Disciplinary Commission in Zurich (Switzerland) on Tuesday and pleaded Pakistan case with full force. Later talking to The News from Zurich, PHF President Brig (R) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar declared that the commission after almost four hours of proceeding decided to wave off almost 75 percent of fine imposed on Pakistan for not participating in FIH Pro League.
“The commission has decided that Pakistan will have to pay only 25 percent of the fine of the total amount of Rs18 million. Now Pakistan hockey will have to pay around Rs4.5 million. The FIH has given Pakistan the option to pay the fine in installments.
The Dutch and Argentina hockey federations have completely withdrawn their compensation claims.” Brig (R) Khokhar also declared that Pakistan has been allowed to compete against one of the teams ranked around ten to move into the qualification round for 2020 directly. “Most probably we would be asked to play against Spain in an effort to make it to the main qualifying round. This is good news for Pakistan hockey. At one time we were almost certain to miss the Olympics. But now after successful negotiations with FIH Commission we have been allowed to compete for a place in the 2020 Olympics.”
The PHF president thanked FIH Chief Executive Thierry Weil for giving opportunity to PHF to give its side of story and narrate the reason that resulted in Pakistan failure to compete in the Pro League. “I am really thankful to FIH and its CE for waving off the fine as well as giving opportunity to the greenshirts to compete for a place in the 2020 Olympics which otherwise would not have been possible. The FIH officials were kind enough to considered Pakistan request on the basis of Pakistan services for the game of hockey spanning over five decades. ”