Hockey stalwarts demand an immediate change in top echelons of PHF

Hockey stalwarts demand an immediate change in top echelons of PHF

PHF Secretary Asif Bajwa held the same office from 2008-2013.

By Ijaz Chaudhry, PSWF Member
LAHORE, Aug. 26, 2020: 'Pakistan Olympians Forum and Hockey Lovers Family' is a group of former hockey stalwarts and fans of the game. Like every Pakistani hockey follower, the group is also perturbed by the continuous decline of Pakistan`s hockey fortunes and it has decided to launch a 'Save Pakistan Hockey Movement'.
In this regard, the group organized a press conference in Gojra – a city in Punjab and known for producing hockey players for the national team – on Sunday. Pakistan`s hockey greats and the game`s lovers came from different parts of the country.
Prominent among them were Rasheedul Hassan (Grand Slam Winner: Golds at Olympics, World Cup, Asian Games, Asia Cup, Champions Trophy & Junior World Cup; also captained Pakistan), Manzoorul Hassan (World Cup winner, Triple Asian Games Gold Medallist and former captain), Naeem Akhtar (Olympic gold medallist & Double Asia Cup gold medallist), Usman Sheikh (World Cup winner and former captain), Naveed Alam (World Cup winner), Saleem Nazim (World Cup silver medallist & Olympic bronze medallist).
They all took turns to speak on Pakistan hockey`s miserable state and also answered the questions of the journalists who were present in a large number.   
The reign of the incumbent President PHF Khalid Sajjad Khokhar was termed as the worst ever in the country`s history.
"When Khokhar became the President of the federation in 2015, Pakistan was ranked 10th in the FIH rankings, now we are 17th. Pakistan failed to qualify for the next Olympics. They finished 12th at the last World Cup and fourth at the Asian Games- equaling country`s worst-ever positions at either event.  Pakistan got a golden opportunity to rejoin the mainstream of international hockey when they were selected for the FIH Pro League for four years in July 2017. The inaugural edition was scheduled to start in January 2019. Despite having ample time to plan for the all-important event, the PHF withdrew the team just 10 days before Pakistan`s first match. It was no less than a national humiliation as the FIH also imposed a heavy fine on the PHF. "
"PHF Secretary Asif Bajwa held the same office from 2008-2013. He was removed amid charges of corruption and human smuggling. He is yet to be absolved of these allegations. Still, he has been reappointed to the same office".
"Last year, Zahir Shah, the President of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Hockey Federation, who is also a member of the PHF Executive Board as well as its Congress, made shocking revelations about the financial bungling in the PHF. He even mentioned a cheque number dated February 10, 2016, of the amount of Rs 5 million which was issued and cleared in the name of ‘Effective Media.’ No one knows anything about this media.”
"A delegation of distinguished former hockey players, including some present here, met the minister of Inter-Provincial Coordination Ms. Fahmida Mirza to apprise her of the PHF`s affairs. After a long discussion, the minister accepted that the PHF is not managing the hockey affairs in a proper manner. She also declared that the federal government`s grants to the PHF would no longer be issued.
Moreover, a couple of weeks back, the minister told the media that there are audit paras in the audit report of the PHF. "
Further, the senate`s standing committee on IPC formed a sub-committee to look into the PHF`s affairs. Headed by Senator Waleed Iqbal, the sub-committee recommended the immediate removal of the PHF, President and Secretary"
"And this is also the demand of Pakistan Olympian Forum and Hockey Lovers Family: President and Secretary PHF be dismissed forthwith. An Ad Hoc body should take charge of the PHF. This body must carry out fair scrutiny of the clubs in each district to be followed by elections of the district hockey associations and finally the provincial bodies
The Prime Minister, in his capacity as the PHF`s Patron-In-Chief should appoint a competent and honest President of the federation. The new President PHF`s selection of the Secretary PHF must be based on merit and proven ability".