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April 16, 2019

FIH fines PHF for failing to honour commitment


April 16, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan hockey is facing fine to the tune of Rs24 million with the possibility of international ban has likely been averted, ‘The News’ learnt from well-placed sources in the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

Though the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) officials are tight lipped on the latest communication with the international body, ‘The News’ has learnt that the FIH has imposed a fine of around Rs24 million on the PHF for failing to honour the Pro Hockey League commitments.

Pakistan withdrew from the commitment to participate in the League just days ahead of the start of the event, citing financial constraints. The decision came hard on the FIH Pro League schedule. The international body had to make many adjustments to make sure that League went ahead.

The FIH Executive Board that met in Lausanne, Switzerland, a month back decided to refer the matter to its disciplinary commission.

The committee decided to impose a fine on Pakistan for failing to travel to Argentina, New Zealand and Australia for the first leg of the Pro League. The committee is of the view that since all the arrangements for matches in these countries were finalised, tickets and sponsorship were sold well ahead of this international commitment, the onus was on Pakistan to pay the damages or to make up for these expenditures. “It was because of Pakistan’s withdrawal that these countries suffered financially,” the committee is said to have communicated to the PHF. "Had Pakistan played the first leg of the Pro League engagements, there was every potential that all these three federations would have received extra benefits for hosting the Pro League matches."

A source at PHF has confirmed to ‘The News’ that the federation had received communication from the FIH regarding the fine.

The PHF is preparing to fight the case, saying that had the federation been in a position to bear the financial expenditures of touring Argentina and Down Under, it would have preferred sending the team to these countries instead of pulling out of the international commitments. “We pulled out of commitments to play the league mainly because of the financial implications. PHF did not have financial resources. How would it pay the fine!" the source said. "The fine is almost the same which was supposed to be spent on the team’s travelling to these countries,” the source added.

He confirmed moving back to FIH Committee, pleading to write off the fine so that PHF could concentrate fully on preparing teams for international commitments.

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