Karachi, December 29
Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Shahbaz Ahmed has resigned over the “step-motherly treatment” being meted out to the national sport in the country.
“When the government and ministry of inter-provincial coordination don’t have either the time or funds for our national game, then I also don’t have time for hockey,” Shahbaz said on Saturday, while submitting his resignation at the PHF’s Working Congress meeting.
The meeting was called to take stock of Pakistan’s dismal show in the recent World Cup in India where it didn’t win a single match.
Pakistan’s lacklustre performance at Bhubaneswar has already seen the resignations of the head coach, coaches and manager.
Shahbaz, a celebrated name in world hockey and a former captain, said since becoming the Secretary he has always stressed on the need to have a proper system in place to generate funds or else the sport would not survive or improve.
“What is the use of my spending time in the PHF when in these last three years we have had to literally beg for funds most of the time. The government and ministry appear to have no interest in reviving hockey in the country,” he said.
“I kept on reminding the government and ministry that we need to restructure the hockey system in the country. We need to have a system where we have ample funds for the players and sport.
“But, unfortunately, no one bothered to listen to me. Sadly, the ministry didn’t even cooperate one percent with us,” Shahbaz complained.
Ruing that the official annual budget for hockey in Pakistan was just 3.5 million, Shahbaz said: “I tried my best to provide facilities and incentives to the players but every time we faced disappointment.
“In such circumstances we are questioned about the performance of our team or the general decline in the standards of the sport in our country,” the Olympian said.
Shahbaz warned that unless importance was given to the national sport it would face worse conditions. PTI
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