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August 6, 2020

Pakistan seeks waiver of FIH fine

Sports

August 6, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The cash-starved Pakistan Hockey Federation may get a sigh of relief as the International Hockey Federation has forwarded a case to its executive board to waive off the remaining $20,000 of the fine the PHF has to pay for missing the FIH Pro League 1.

PHF President Brig (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar told ‘The News’ on Wednesday that the FIH has agreed to consider Pakistan’s request. “There is a good news for Pakistan hockey as the FIH has decided to consider our request to waive off the remaining amount of the fine,” he said.

The impact of missing the FIH Pro League has haunted the PHF for over a year. Of the $50,000 fine, the PHF had paid $30,000 — the second installment of $15,000 just a couple of weeks ago.

Payment of the first installment last year paved the way for Pakistan to compete in the Olympic qualifying matches against the Netherlands.

Both the PHF president and Secretary Asif Bajwa used their connections in the FIH to ensure that the world governing body takes up the matter of waiving off the remaining fine.

“We are trying to fight our case with the FIH because of the tough times the hockey world is facing due to Covid-19. Hockey activities are at a standstill. No activity means no generation of funds for any federation around the world,” Brig Khokhar said.

“All federations, including Pakistan, are struggling financially to even help out their players. So paying the fine would not have been possible and we want FIH to waive off the remaining amount.

“We are thankful to the FIH and the Asian Hockey Federation for considering our case.”

Two years ago, the PHF signed a bond to compete in the FIH Pro League 1 — a decision that it repented later when a change in the government left it high and dry.

The new government refused any financial assistance to the struggling federation with the PHF having no option but to pull out of the tournament just days before its start.

The late withdrawal resulted in a $100,000 fine — half of which was to be paid to the FIH while the other half was to be spent on hockey development in Pakistan under the watchful eyes of the AHF.