Former Pak hockey greats call for PHF President’s resignation

Sunday, October 17, 2010

LAHORE - In a rejoinder to the press statement of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) President Qasim Zia, former hockey greats have said Qasim should resign along with his hand-picked management after finishing sixth at the Delhi Commonwealth Games.

In a joint statement, Olympians Shahnaz Sheikh, Samiullah, Shahbaz Senior and Saleem Nazam said that Qasim, being the PHF president, should show respect to their (Olympians) point of view, the Dawn reported.

“We Olympians, like other Pakistanis, want revival of the game and our criticism should be taken in a positive way,” the statement said, adding, “The PHF president should accept the reality that our hockey witnessed slump in 2010. The results of this year speak the truth by itself.”

“This year, our team remained fifth among six teams at the Azlan Shah Cup, finished at the rock-bottom of 12 in the World Cup and now in the Commonwealth Games, it ended at the sixth place despite finishing second in the last edition,” the Olympians noted.

Rejecting Qasim’s stance that Pakistan’s pool was tough, they appealed to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to order an inquiry into the decline of the game despite funding by the government.

“Pakistan are a better side than India, Scotland and Malaysia. Only Australia were stronger than our side,” they said, adding, “Pakistan should have qualified for the semi-finals, but they failed because of bad tactics and defensive play.”

They also pointed out that Pakistan’s Dutch coach Michel van den Heuvel and chief selector Hanif Khan had given contradictory statements before the team’s departure to India.

Hanif had claimed the team would reach the podium but the Dutch coach had expressed no hope for a medal.

“The morale of the players was not high at the time of departure due to such contradicting statements of the high-ups,” the Olympians said.

“If the PHF continues the same strategy, the nation should prepare itself for another disaster in the Asian Games (in November),” they warned. (ANI)

Filed under: Hockey

will not be displayed