Mission ‘hockey bachao’ set to surface again

Former greats to finalise anti-PHF campaign after Eid.

Our Correspondent August 17, 2012

KARACHI: Former hockey greats who are unhappy with Pakistan’s performance in London are gearing up to launch a campaign against the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) set-up... again.

The Olympians, including Samiullah, Shahnaz Sheikh, Qamar Zia, Qamar Ibrahim and Salim Sherwani besides others, are on board to start campaign to remove the PHF officials after Pakistan finished seventh in the Olympics, a campaign that also included a 7-0 drubbing against Australia.

Pakistan, during the current PHF set-up headed by Qasim Zia having Asif Bajwa as secretary, finished eighth in Beijing Olympics 2008 besides a bottom-place finish in the World Cup that prompted former players to call for Bajwa’s removal from the post. While poor results at the Commonwealth Games and the last Azlan Shah Cup are among the other failures of the team during the period, the 2010 Asian Games gold medal was the only respite for the hockey team.

“We failed where it mattered,” Samiullah told The Express Tribune. “This PHF has failed to bring any improvement in over four years and now these officials must quit themselves. We can’t see any future planning by the PHF. This federation has even failed to form a proper back-up of youngsters.”

Samiullah said various Olympians have decided to launch a campaign to remove this set.

“We will be on a rescue hockey mission after Eid. As a first step, we will sit and prepare the campaign’s strategy that may include meeting dignitaries, including the prime minister, to plead our case. We may even launch a protest in order to save our national sport.”

Samiullah, however said the campaign which is aimed to save the national game from complete destruction will be run in a civilised manner.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2012.

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