KARACHI: Newly-instated president of the Pakistan Hockey Federation, Brigadier (retd) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, received a vote of confidence during a congress meeting held at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Islamabad on Thursday, while current secretary of the body Rana Mujahid was given an extension on his contract, which will run till the 2018 World Cup.
Meanwhile, head coach Shahnaz Sheikh resigned from his post during the meeting, which was accepted by Khokhar.
The meeting was held on a one-point agenda — for the congress to accept the new president after taking votes and for Khokhar to then put his faith in Mujahid to continue his role as secretary. “The members of the congress also agreed on extending Mujahid’s tenure,” said Khokhar.
Mujahid, who has been serving the PHF for the last two years and has tried to gather funds to revive the national sport and failed, has been given another chance with the new management.
On the other hand, Sheikh and his assistants, who trained the national team that won silver medals at Asian Games and Champions Trophy in 2014, handed in their resignations in the aftermath of Pakistan’s failure to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“People here don’t appreciate good work. One loss made them forget everything we had previously achieved,” Sheikh told The Express Tribune. “No coach in the world gives 100 per cent results — there are many ups and downs in sports. You win some, you lose some.”
Sheikh said that his contract runs till the Rio event but since they had failed to qualify, there was no reason left to stay with the team. “I hope the new management under Khokhar has the ability to lift hockey again. He is a disciplined man and I hope to see this in his actions too,” he said.
Upon taking the vote of confidence, Khokhar said that he and his team will work tirelessly to improve the state of hockey affairs in the country, adding that they had asked the government for a Rs100 million grant to initiate their goals.
“This is the initial amount we require to run the federation and we will then provide the daily allowance to players when made available,” he said. “For the future, we will try to make the PHF strong enough to bear its own expenses. We will also be modifying the federation’s strategy and will announce relevant details soon.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2015.