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Pak hockey players suffering because of no action in Europe

Sports

June 26, 2020

KARACHI: More than a dozen Pakistan hockey players are unable to earn money that they used to earn by playing in leagues in Europe in summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

FIH has given permission to start activities with the disease-related SOPs, but so far no forigen league schedule has been announced.

The players of both senior and junior sides have been away from grounds for the past several months because of coronavirus.

They had been in training camps run by PHF before the disease reached Pakistan.

Informed sources said that FIH had permitted all its affiliated countries to start activities while adopting preventive measures. It is expected that foreign hockey leagues would begin soon. Many players from Pakistan including Rizwan Senior, Rashid, Umar Bhutta, Ali Shan, Ammad Butt, Asfar Yaqoob, Abubakar, and Samiullah play in leagues in France, Germany, Holland, Spain, England, Egypt, and Oman.

Khuwaja Junaid, the head coach of Pakistan, said that PHF had no objection to the participation of Pakistani players in foreign leagues. “Our players have been out of action for several months. Thus, it would be great for our players if overseas hockey leagues started but so far, we haven’t heard of any league starting,” he said.

He said that it seems that the foreign hockey leagues would be further delayed for a couple of months.

Meanwhile, PHF president Brig (rtd) Khalid Khokhar addressed the probable players of the senior team in a video conference. He asked them not to lose their concentration and motivation due to the ongoing pandemic situation.

He directed them to continue their home-based physical training and skill-oriented exercises so that when hockey activities start they are in good shape.

He informed the players that PHF would organise sports activities while adopting SOPs as soon as the government announced opening of the sports grounds. The PHF would soon organise the training camps for both senior and junior strings, he added.