ISLAMABAD, Jul 30 (APP):Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has sought government’s patronage to regain the lost glory of the national game hockey, suggesting the federation may be granted funds through Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), to ensure transparency in the usage of finances.
PHF Secretary Asif Bajwa on Tuesday said the national game desperately needs revival and government’s help is needed in this regard.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan, had been an outstanding sportsman during his time, therefore I request him to help PHF in regaining hockey’s lost glory,” he told APP.
He said no improvement can be done until and unless a proper budget is set up for PHF. “PHF funds may be kept with PSB where these could be released tournament to tournament based. I am floating this idea to end the case of trust deficit. This step may be taken to ensure transparency in the usage of PHF funds,” he said.
Speaking about the revival of the game, Bajwa, who was a member of Pakistan’s World Cup-winning hockey team in 1994, said PHF would establish 4 to 5 hockey academies in the country where the youth (12 to 14 years) would be spotted and trained.
“We would launch three teams of Pakistan including Pakistan seniors, Pakistan Whites and Pakistan Under-21,” he said and added the u21 players would be prepared for the next Hockey World Cup.
Bajwa, who played 74 international matches and scored 25 goals in his career, said my target was to bring Pakistan hockey team in the top 10 of the International Rankings.
He however said the reason behind the decline of the national game was due to lack of international tournaments in the country. “Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has a neutral venue United Arab Emirates (UAE) for holding home series, but PHF cannot do so due to lack of sponsors,” he said and added the last international event Pakistan hosted was the Champions Trophy in 2004 in Lahore.
Bajwa, who received the Pride of Performance Award in 1995, said the only way PHF can generate money was by holding international tournaments at home.
He said his top priority was to hold the Pakistan Hockey League (PHL) which had been in the lineup for the past two to three years. “We have plans to hold the PHL next year and would also be contacting the International Hockey Federation (FIH) in this regard,” he said.
During his past tenure (2008 to 2013) as PHF secretary, Bajwa said he had awarded players with central contracts and coaches were also paid ransom salaries. “Pakistan was Asia’s No 1 team during my tenure,” he said and added he had established 18 new academies during his time.