Sports: Hockey: PHF officials incompetent to lift hockey standards

Karachi: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF)’s top officials, who also worked in different capacities in federation’s previous setup, lacks potential to serve the national sport and lift its standards, believes former Olympian Saleem Sherwani.

Under the coaching of former Olympian Akhtar Rasool, the green-shirts failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in the history of the event. However, the man managed to get the top designation in the federation, becoming the president.

Meanwhile, Rana Mujahid, who had a long stint with the junior team and had also been the associate secretary in the previous set-up, has become the secretary. The junior team recently came ninth in the Junior World Cup.

“Under Akhtar’s coaching, we marked the blackest day in the history of hockey by being unable to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in the history of the tournament. So how it could be expected that he could deliver at the bigger position,” Saleem told PPI.

“Meanwhile, Rana was with the previous setup as associate secretary and was also manager-cum-coach of the junior hockey team for a long time and made tall claims that the colts would perform well in Junior World Cup. And what the team actually did was a lowly ninth place in the event. This is quite ridiculous and yet people like them continue to get key positions in the federation. It is a hopeless situation,” he added.

Saleem pointed out that 11 members of the junior team, who featured in the Junior World Cup in India, have been playing for the senior side and therefore had a lot of international exposure and experience.

“But even then team failed to qualify even for semifinals and trailed at lowly ninth position. Rana opted to become secretary just few weeks before World Cup because he knew where the team was standing. He should have stayed with the junior team till the all-important Junior World Cup if he had been working sincerely. However, to avoid criticism he backed out few weeks from the event,” Sherwani said.

Meanwhile, Sherwani added that none of his fellow-Olympians, who played during green-shirts golden period, were collaborating with the PHF setup, who took over the federation through unfair elections.

“None of us will work with these people as everyone has seen their past performance,” he said.

Another former Olympian Samiullah has also that none of the former Olympians will work with incompetent PHF officials.

“Everyone knows that elections of the federation were not free and fair. However, more important thing is that we know the previous performance of these officials and to collaborate with them would actually be betraying our national sport,” he said.

PHF top officials have claimed that they were taking former Olympians on board to raise the standards of hockey in the country.

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