Monday December 11, 2023

WORLD CUP DEBACLE: IPC Ministry’s intervention forces Shahbaz to resign

December 30, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Following Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) intervention, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Shahbaz Ahmed has finally decided to resign.

Shahbaz handed over his resignation to the PHF President Brig (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar on Saturday in Islamabad.

Citing reasons to resign, Shahbaz said the ministry had no time for hockey. “If IPC Ministry of does not have time for the game, I don’t have either,” he said while tendering resignation.

With this development, the 54th Congress meeting of the PHF has also been postponed for the time being. “The PHF Congress meeting that was scheduled to be held in Islamabad on December 31 has also been postponed.”

The IPC Ministry remained hub of activities regarding hockey affairs on Friday, a day ahead of Shahbaz’s resignation. The activities saw IPC high-ups making it clear to the PHF officials that the game cannot be run the way it has been during the last three years. The IPC Ministry and PHF officials were seen exchanging calls several times during Friday. The ministry made it clear to the federation officials that they would not only be part and parcel of the December 31 meeting but would also seek opinion of all the stakeholders before finalising report for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s consumption.

It also approached leading former hockey stalwarts who were not part of the PHF set up. “All those former stalwarts who decline to be part of this set up during the last three years were also invited to guide and help the ministry during the Congress meeting. Now when the PHF has postponed the meeting, the ministry would look into other options,” a ministry official when contacted said.

Chances are now that more resignations would follow the suit. “We are continuing with our efforts to bring the best and practical individuals to run the hockey affairs. Repeated failures in international hockey had dampened Pakistan image. If the country that has won the World Cup for a record four times has failed to win a single match and finished 12th in the 2018 mega event, there is no justification for officials to stay in power. Those officials who have been there for more than three years now have played their innings. They must pave the way for others for a fresh start,” the official said.

In his resignation, Shahbaz said there had been no system in Pakistan to run the game of hockey and that was why the game suffered. “We have no system to generate system that could ensure proper financial assistance for players. We have taken up the matter with ministry many times but to no avail,” he said.