‘Pamper us and see the results’

Hockey players complain over double standards; delay in salaries.

Fawad Hussain June 20, 2013
Pakistan hockey players, including Mohammad Waseem, want the government to support the game. PHOTO: AFP


After six months of waiting around for their salaries, the Greenshirts have raised their voice over the delay in payment by the country’s federation.

Like the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) introduced central contracts for national hockey players a couple of years ago. However, it has been learnt that due to lack of funds, the contracts were discontinued in December last year and are yet to be renewed.

The hockey players were paid much less than the cricketers with Category A offering Rs50,000, while B and C Category players recieving Rs40,000 and Rs 30,000 respectively.

Pakistan captain Mohammad Imran said that while the federation was ‘doing its best’ to support players, the government needed to take steps to encourage the players.

“The government needs to back the hockey federation,” Imran told The Express Tribune. “Unlike the cricket board, the PHF lacks sponsorship and hence, it is a responsibility of the government to look after us.”

Imran said the authorities needed to acknowledge the achievements of the hockey team like they do with the national cricket team.

“We won the Asian Champions Trophy last December when coincidently Pakistan cricket team defeated India in a bilateral series.

“There was so much appreciation for the cricket team in terms of bonuses and kudos from the president and prime minister, but no one from the federal government even bothered to send us a greeting message. Similarly, our gold medal in Nine-a-side event and bronze medal in Champions Trophy went unnoticed.”

Imran said hockey, Pakistan’s national sport, needed to be backed financially, which in turn, would encourage talented players to pursue it as a career.

“Pakistan hockey has achieved a lot more than cricket — not to forget four World Cup titles and three Olympic gold medals besides various other titles. Such double standards against our national game must end.

“We play for our country, but it’s natural that such encouragements boost the players. Lack of acknowledgement brings the morale down. Despite the cold attitude, we’ve shown progress and by a little bit of support and acknowledgement, major progress can be made.

“We hope the new government feels this way as well.”

Provide proper jobs to players: Waseem

Pakistan’s most seasoned player, Mohammad Waseem, agreed with Imran’s grievances. However, the former captain added that jobs needed to be given to the players as security.

“Unlike the past, not many youngsters are coming forward because they don’t see any future in hockey,” said Waseem. “Many players playing at the top level are without proper jobs. I am fortunate to have a permanent one but most of the players are on contracts or they are jobless.”

Pakistan goal-keeper Imran Butt lamented that the team won a gold medal at the Asian Games but is yet to get the promised reward.

“We are waiting for the reward as some are getting it in installments while others are yet to receive a penny,” said Butt. “People take no time in criticising the hockey team when we fail, but nobody appreciates us when we do well.

“The attitude can depress a player.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2013.

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My Views | 8 years ago | Reply

@Raj Hans Veeru: True. That is why, India has is not a poor country. Because, everybody is working without pay to develop the country, and not asking for single penny, as reward.

Yes, you are true, Sir.

waseem sarwar | 8 years ago | Reply

@Raj Hans Veeru: They play for the country but still want to feed their family.

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