SENATE SUB-COMMITTEE MEETS: Submit proofs of alleged corruption in PHF, says Walid

The News

ISLAMABAD: Walid Iqbal, convener sub-committee of Senate Standing Committee on IPC, called on all the stakeholders to furnish proofs of alleged corruption in Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), helping him finalise the report for the uplift of the game in the country.
The sub-committee, which was formed to dig out truth behind the falling standard of hockey, heard PHF officials, former Olympians and one of the senior sports journalists in detail on what had gone wrong all these years that resulted in the downfall of the national team.
“Before finalising my report on Pakistan hockey’s downfall, I would ask all those having proofs of corruption to come forward and share these with the sub-committee. All press clippings, TV interviews backed by documents should be submitted with the committee. It is very important for us to reach the truth,” he said.
Four former Olympians, the 1984 LA Games gold medal winning captain Manzoor Junior, Khawaja Junaid, Khalid Bashir and Salim Nazim, who also spoke on the occasion, called for changes in the Pakistan hockey set-up saying that those given the reign to run the affairs were not delivering.
“As a former hockey captain who served the game at all fronts and with the grace of God won every title of the world, I am disappointed to see the current scenario where hockey is dying slowly and there is no one to stem the rot. The hockey headquarters in Lahore is giving a barren and deserted look. No one is there to look after the development of the game at domestic and international level,” Manzoor Junior said.
Salim Nazim pointed out that Faisalabad has produced numerous hockey captains and almost 39 international hockey players. “The city is without artificial turf for the last 12 years now. No efforts have been made to help the city get its share. Fake clubs and officials get promotion while genuine clubs and officials are discouraged.”
Khawaja Junaid said there were no proper check and balance system. “During the last three years money were spent on useless tours. Foreign coaches were hired without any real requirement. Team was sent to Canada and Australia only to spent money and nothing else. Foreign coaches were hired on higher slabs and no effort was made to improve indigenous resources.”
Khalid Bashir said that besides the forensic audit, the detail inquiry into the PHF earning and expenditures should be initiated. “We welcome PHF audit. But a detail inquiry into what happened during the last four years is also due,” he said.
Khalid said that the federation’s associate secretary Zahir Shah’s recent video was very important. “In that video clip he highlighted the misuse of power by PHF officials.”
He questioned as why the team was not sent to the Pro League when the PHF had Rs120 million in their kitty after receiving Rs100 million from Sindh government.
The committee also gave ‘The News’ senior correspondent Abdul Mohi Shah an opportunity to talk on hockey downfall and chances of Pakistan’s qualification for the 2020 Olympics. “There are minimum chances of qualification for Olympics and these are less than 30 percent. Pakistan hockey needs a revolution and that is linked with the mental approach of those officials who are running the game in the country,” Mohi Shah said.
The PHF was represented in the meeting by secretary Shahbaz Ahmed and treasurer Ikhlaq Usmani.
“We have prepared a comprehensive plan to promote the game from grassroots level. Recent event held in Gojra was part of that plan,” Shahbaz said.
Shahbaz complained against scarcity of funds, saying that every effort to promote game was marred by lack of funds. “Still we have sent record number of teams abroad for competition and training. But of late funds are coming which is main reason of lack of activities.”
Senator Walid Iqbal, who was also accompanied by Lt Gen (r) Salahuddin Tirmizi, hoped to reach a viable solution to the challenges faced by hockey.

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