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December 24, 2018

Change of command in PHF on the cards

Sports

December 24, 2018

ISLAMABAD: In the not so distant future, there is all likelihood that a new administration of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) would be in operation as the days of sitting incumbents are numbered.

‘The News’ has learnt from well-placed sources that government and all the related powerful institutions are highly concerned over the national team’s depleted performances in the just-concluded World Cup.

In the wake of poor show it has been decided to introduce necessary changes aiming at making fresh start and to begin rebuilding process.

Pakistan finished 12th in the just concluded World Cup held in India. Moreover for the first time the national team has returned from the World Cup without winning even a single match.

“Yes, the government has decided in principle to make necessary changes in the PHF administration. It is only a matter of time before these changes will be introduced,” one of the sources within the corridors of power told ‘The News’.

The PHF has convened Congress’ meeting on December 29 in Lahore to discuss among other issues to get members approval on accounts spent during the last three to four years.

Lt Gen (r) Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmed, who is currently heading Mari Petroleum Company, is the front-runner for the post of president in the new PHF administration. The former Army hockey player has also represented the department in nationals.

“If everything goes according to the plan, Lt Gen (r) Ishfaq is expected to take over the responsibility as the president of PHF in near future. He is a keen hockey lover and wants to do something for the game,” the source added.

Former hockey stalwart Samiullah, Manzoorul Hasan and Brig (r) Saleem Nawaz could well be part of new administration and setup.

The current PHF headed by Brig (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar is under severe criticism for failing to raise a competitive combination for international competitions.

National team’s poor performance in the Commonwealth Games, Champions Trophy and Asian Games dealt repeated blows to all claims of team’s systematic progress.

With the new format of World Pro Hockey League looming, there is a dire need to raise a fresh crop of the players for hectic engagements. With the ageing players already decided to retire, country’s hockey needs fresh blood capable of delivering at international scene. Future qualification for all mega events including Olympics and World Cup depends entirely on team’s performance in the World Pro League.

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