Karachi: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has brought former Olympians Islahuddin Siddiqui, Shahnaz Sheikh, Ayaz Mehmood, Qamar Ibrahim and many others in its fold in some key positions in order to end the rift with the former Olympians.
For years, these former Olympians had criticized PHF formerly led by Qasim Zia and now Akhtar Rasool, for incompetency and lack of professionalism. They had also campaigned against the federation and had on several times requested the government to impose an ad-hoc committee and then conduct free and fair elections.
However, the rifts have now seemed to have fizzled out between the former Olympians, many of who had wear green shirts together in the past.
A legendary former Olympian, Islahuddin Siddiqui, has now been made chief selector. “We all agree on bringing back our past glory in hockey and we have to strengthen the base from the grassroots level”, Islah said after he has been made chief selector.
Meanwhile, Shahnaz Sheikh, who has been made head coach said that he had already envisaged a comprehensive plan for the national team which would be implemented effectively.
“We have to improve physical strength of our players and narrow the gap of our missing in the middle before the Asian Games”, he said.
Former Olympians Ayaz Mehmood, Khalid Bashir, Musaddiq and Arshad Ali have also been accommodated in the federation as member selection committee.
Another former Olympian Manzoor-ul-Hassan has been made chief coach and manager of the Junior team along with Qamar Ibrahim, Kamran Ashraf, Muhammad Akhlaq, Rehan Butt and Mohammed Irfan as members.
Former Olympian Tahir Zaman has been appointed as Director Coaching Program who would also work for the improvement of the game.
“All these decisions have been unanimously approved by the Executive Board which has given free hands to the selection committee and managements of senior and junior teams,” said Rana Mujahid, secretary PHF in a press conference at the National Hockey Stadium on Wednesday.
Rana further added that a Conciliatory Committee has been formed headed by former Olympian Akhtar-ul-Islam who will be assisted by former Olympians, Islahuddin Siddiqui, Shahid Ali Khan and Shahbaz Senior.
“The Committee will contact the former Olympians who are our national asset. It would listen and address their grievances to bring them back in the fold of PHF so that the game of hockey could benefit from their vast experience in international hockey”, Rana added.