Monday, 30 September 2013

Olympians meet next week to firm up strategy

The Olympians are expected to discuss the ways to compel the current PHF management to resign before the elections. They have already asked the government to sack it and appoint an interim committee to hold elections impartially, the sources said the Olympians want prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who is the patron in chief of PHF, to review the summary submitted by the ministry of IPC, which has recommended the removal of the PHF management because of its poor performance during the last five years.

The sources said that former prime minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, who was once president of PHF, is present in Islamabad these days and rivals of the PHF have persuaded him to play his role in the larger interest of Pakistan’s hockey. They have asked him to coax Nawaz Sharif to remove the present PHF management.

Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh, when contacted, said it was time the government took some steps to save the prestige of Pakistan’s hockey in the world. He said the latest show of Pakistan’s junior hockey team in a tournament in Malaysia was evidence of the poor performance of the current management. The national junior team stood fourth in the event although the world’s top teams, including Australia, Germany, Holland and Spain, were not participating. “What would be the position of this team in the Junior Hockey World Cup in December 2013 in India where all leading teams would be in action!” Shahnaz said.

“One can imagine the standard of our hockey. Junior players who are about to replace the entire senior team according to the PHF announcement could not perform well in the event in Malaysia. How would they play at the senior level!” Shahnaz said. He declined to go into details of the Olympians’ plans. “We are waiting for the PM’s return.”