Pakistan hockey has been facing one setback after any other for a long term but, in contrast to within the beyond, while there used to be still a few wish for the game, matters seem to have sincerely hit rock backside. The Fédération Internationale de Hockey’s (FIH) throwing Pakistan out of the FIH pro League has left the usa’s national game in a dilemma.
Hockey’s future as an Olympic game has remained in danger for quite a while now.
launched in January 2019, FIH’s seasoned League — a domestic-and-away league regarding the sector’s main hockey countries — is seen as the point of interest of the sport for achieving all this whilst promising to absolutely alternate the landscape of global hockey, with a normal calendar of events played in packed stadia internationally, at some point of the year.
Pakistan hockey is no more part of the game’s worldwide frame FIH’s seasoned League. That is merely symptomatic of the rot that has set in due to administrative bungling
It had been located even on the optimum tournaments — which includes the world Cup — that, aside from the fits concerning the house crew, the stadiums were mainly empty. Within the FIH seasoned League, all the 128 matches in the round-robin league degree would be a home sport as every tie capabilities a domestic team.
The set-up would see international teams within the league gambling against warring parties once at domestic and once away each yr. Following numerous months of opposition, the top four teams will then qualify for a grand finale match to determine the winners of the whole opposition. It is expected that the accelerated business ability of enforcing the brand new structure will generate substantially more fee for the game. There is additionally prize cash of $250,000 across the guys’s and girls’s activities.
unparalleled for hockey, now broadcast viewers might be uncovered to pinnacle-class hockey each weekend for 6 months of the yr. Moreover, the video games are to be telecast stay on FIH.Stay anywhere a broadcaster is not displaying a suit.
The teams taking part on this new home-and-away league are selected on a actually defined set of qualification criteria designed to maintain the exceptional of the league and a high widespread of activities, and now not simply on the premise of the scores. So Pakistan, ranked thirteenth at the time, were fortunate to be selected a number of the nine nations on the premise of the u . S .’s high-quality hockey legacy, a big market and ability of excessive tv viewership. However the most important hurdle become that no us of a became prepared to
visit Pakistan for this league. Right here, CEO of britain Hockey, Ms Sally Munday helped Pakistan. She persuaded David Sweetman, CEO of Scottish Hockey Union, in making Glasgow Pakistan’s home.
The remaining object became the monetary deal among the Scottish Hockey Union and the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF). However it fell thru while the Scottish Hockey Union pulled out. The FIH then tried to reschedule Pakistan’s home video games at the side of their away games. Some country wide associations agreed whilst others didn’t. Nevertheless, Pakistan’s eight domestic games were rescheduled, with one each in Argentina, Belgium, Germany, England, New Zealand and 3 in Holland. FIH went to the last extent to accommodate Pakistan.
however on January 23, simply 10 days earlier than their beginning match inside the pro League, PHF informed FIH that they were no longer able to play their first 3 matches due to “unavoidable situations.” The FIH became left and not using a other desire but to ban/suspend Pakistan from the pro League, making the inaugural guys event an eight group affair. Participation inside the FIH pro League might have given a new lease of existence to Pakistan hockey. But due to the PHF’s ineptness, Pakistan overlooked out on a golden risk to rejoin the top tier of worldwide hockey.
The PHF’s retreating from the pro League simply 10 days before its commencement has not best prompted issues for the FIH but additionally for the countrywide associations of the teams gambling within the pro League. Tickets of Pakistan’s first segment matches in Argentina, Australia and New Zealand had already been bought, whilst the ones of the second one phase video games in Europe had been also being purchased. Those institutions located themselves in a tough position. They were no longer positive a way to tackle the state of affairs and compensate the lovers who had already offered tickets. Hockey Australia introduced that, to replace the cancelled healthy, the country wide team could hold a education hospital and fan interaction, inclusive of signing opportunities, and an exhibition suit.
Now there are also probabilities that Pakistan is probably banned from the FIH events for a certain period of time and not using a participation inside the 2020 Olympics. It approach that the previous hockey terrific electricity might become a third tier hockey nation, of its very own making. Pakistan may even be banned from the FIH events for quite a while aside from having incurred a heavy first-rate.
For the fans of Pakistan hockey inside and outside the country, it got here as no surprise. The way the incumbent PHF have been functioning, this changed into at the playing cards.
President Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), Brigadier (retd) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar changed into first handed over the reins via the previous high minister Nawaz Sharif in 2015 after Pakistan did not qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. He became reelected unopposed in 2018 in a incredibly debatable manner.
it's miles pertinent to mention right here that the representatives of legitimate hockey associations from Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan had denounced the malafide intentions and tactics of the country wide federation to deliver their blue-eyed human beings in thru allegedly bogus elections even before the PHF elections. They had additionally made public the unfair modus operandi of the PHF’s inter-membership scrutiny performed by way of the in particular decided on folk. In many districts, consistent with them, non-useful and fake golf equipment have been given vote casting rights to pick the officers of the district hockey association whilst sidelining the real golf equipment. The district hockey associations officers consequently elected then elected the provincial hockey affiliation officers. Therefore they claim the PHF got elected humans of their personal choice in three provinces (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa remained an exception), most effective to clean the ground for the PHF president to get elected unopposed.
And so the secretary of the Punjab Hockey affiliation was none other than Lt Col (retd) Asif Khokhar, the brother of the PHF president. His cousin Rai Usman, too, got elected because the companion secretary of the Punjab Hockey affiliation. Then he appointed his nephew, Saqib Niaz Khokhar, as a PHF coordinator. The nepotism didn’t quit right here. Every other brother, Sajid Khokhar, become made a liaison officer with the touring Kazakhstan national crew in January and additionally with the worldwide XI, who were in Pakistan early in 2018.
The famous tale goes that the PHF president wanted to end up the president of the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF). But while the veteran flesh presser from KP Salim Saifullah took manipulate of Pakistan tennis, it turned into the PHF which became Khokhar’s goal. He happens to be a close relative of Ahsan Iqbal, the powerful federal minister within the former top Minister Nawaz Sharif’s cupboard, and the link helped him force his manner into Pakistan hockey.
His lust for supremacy in a sports body is not new. One vividly remembers that, in 2002, Khalid Khokhar held essential portfolios in Pakistan’s novice Athletics Federation and PTF, aside from being the director of the navy sports Board and manager of the countrywide hockey team — all at the same time. He resides in Islamabad in which, until these days, he was also sporting some other hat — MD of the Pakistan Mineral improvement organization. Consistent with PHF sources, he graces the PHF headquarters in Lahore once in 3 months.
Early this month, someone no much less than Zahir Shah, president of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Hockey association, who's also a member of the PHF government Board in addition to its Congress, has made startling allegations about the financial bungling within the PHF.
In his assertion, which seemed in all the media, Shah said that transactions of over Rs800 million were crafted from the 2 PHF accounts during the last 3 and a half years. He asked the Senate Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination to summon the financial institution officials (who recognize about the Karachi and Lahore accounts of the PHF) and spot for themselves how a lot transaction became made from those debts from September 1, 2015 till February four, 2019.
“a few startling revelations could come to the fore when reputable senators summon info of the complete costs.
“Secondly, the Senate committee will have to look into all transactions to realize whether the amount become transferred certainly to different debts. As an example, cheque No 453 dated February 10, 2016 of the amount of Rs5 million turned into issued and cleared in the call of ‘effective Media.’ no one knows which media this is.”
He also expressed his critical reservations over the PHF’s coping with of audit of accounts. “i have asked the federation through my two letters written to the PHF secretary regarding the audited statements for the year 2015-2016, 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 in conjunction with a complete note by way of the auditor. I've now not received any reaction to my letters. It's miles incumbent upon the federation at hand over the audited file of all its prices to the Congress members on the cease of every economic year. What they've given to participants more than one years returned become only a two-web page precis.”
any other critical aspect Zahir Shah spoke approximately during his media speak become about the issuance of visas during the last three-and-half-years. “I request the Senate to direct the involved embassies to offer information on PHF letters issued for visas so that we might be in a function to understand as who were the persons who were issued visas on PHF letters after that. Did those people deserve getting the federation letter for visas?”
considering that 2016, the PHF has also been talking approximately a super Hockey League to be staged in Pakistan at the strains of the Pakistan extremely good League with overseas gamers gambling. It's been rescheduled after which deferred each six months over one excuse or any other — along with the government’s failure in issuing NOCs or a busy calendar for foreign gamers playing in eu Leagues. This 12 months only, tentative dates for the event had been announced three times by means of the PHF, the closing of which came about to be the second 1/2 of March. However, once again the league has been postponed indefinitely.
The future for hockey in Pakistan isn't always difficult to bet.
published in sunrise, EOS, March 17th, 2019