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Khokhar vows to revive hockey with federal, provincial govts’ help

Sports

July 19, 2019

KARACHI: The PHF president Brig (rtd) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar has vowed that they would come out of financial crisis with the help of federal government, provincial governments, and sponsors.

Addressing a press conference along with PHF secretary Olympian Asif Bajwa at Abdul Sattar Edhi hockey stadium on Thursday, he said the federation would itself generate funds as well to continue domestic hockey activities and participate in international events.

He said that PHF had received no funds since October 2017 from the federal government. Despite this, Pakistan participated in the World Cup 2018 and Asian Hockey Championship, and the PHF organised various domestic events, including the national championship.

Khokhar said that failing to participate in the FIH Pro League was a setback. He said PHF would have had to spend a very large amount for participating in the Pro League because of playing the home games at neutral venues. “When PHF agreed to participate in the FIH Pro League, the things were normal and an appropriate amount of funds had been allocated for the national game. But later the situation changed when the government changed and the allocated funds were not released,” said the PHF president.

“We have managed to resolve the issue, however, and will be able to pay the first installation of the fine (imposed by FIH) in August,” he added.

He claimed that PHF had resolved the issue of Karachi Hockey Association (KHA) which had affected the hockey activities in the city. “Karachi has produced many world-renowned hockey players but due to the conflict, hockey had been suffering,” he added.

He said that the issued had been resolved because of PHF’s efforts and kindness of provincial local bodies minister Saeed Ghani, who left his position as KHA president in the interest of the national game.

Asked about the dilapidated condition of Abdul Sattar Edhi stadium, he said that PC-I and PC-2 for the stadium had been prepared. “We are in contact with the federal and Sindh governments to renovate the stadium,” Khokhar said.

Bajwa said that Karachi used to produce great international players. “KHA officials used to fight for the selection of their players in national senior and junior teams. But now not a single player is in the senior or the junior team. There has been not a single Karachi player in the country’s top 100 players for the last two years,” he added.

He said that KHA failed to produce a single player to represent the country as the officials fought for their own interests. “Thus, PHF intervened and made all stakeholders resolve their differences,” the PHF secretary said.

He said that Dr Junaid Ali Shah would be the president of KHA, Olympian Shahid Ali Khan and Kamran Ashraf would be the vice presidents, Haider Hussain secretary, and Abu Zar would be the treasurer.

Under the new arrangement brokered by PHF, Saeed Ghani would be the president of Sindh Hockey Association (SHA), he said. He said that Pakistan would participate in the Olympics qualifying rounds. “Where and whom we will play will become clear in August,” he said.

The PHF president and the secretary expressed their determination to organise a professional league as it was one of the main parts of the PHF plan to revive hockey in the country. He said that the chairman national selection committee and its members, and management of senior and junior teams would be finalised after PHF congress meeting on July 23. The PHF high officials announced that Hanif Khan would be the tournament director for the national championship.

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