LAHORE: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) chief and former Olympian Akhtar Rasool Chaudhary has said that the national federation is facing serious financial crisis and Rs.650 million are needed to launch a rearguard action for the revival of the game. He was speaking at a meet the press programme at Lahore Press Club here on Monday. “We are facing a huge financial crisis and we are looking towards the federal government to lend support the way it did in the past for achieving lost glory,” said Akhtar.
The PHF president said he had requested the federal government to earmark a sum of Rs.500 million annually to the PHF to ensure smooth running of the national federation and participation of national teams in international tournaments abroad. “We will be making efforts to generate the remaining amount of Rs.160 million from the sponsors and with the allocation of required funds we will be able to evolve a comprehensive activity programme for lifting the game out of present gloom,” he maintained.
Akhtar said to revive the Pakistan-India hockey bilateral hockey series, the PHF had restored talks with the Indian hockey authorities and it was hoped that there would be a positive outcome.
“It is imperative to revive Indo-Pak hockey. And we are confident that with both countries playing on home and away basis, hockey will flourish in the sub-continent. Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has assured that fool proof security will be provided to the Indian team during their visit to Pakistan.”
The PHF chief attributed the downfall of the national sport to many reasons including lack of hockey activities in educational institutions. “In the past, domestic hockey was very strong and a lot of tournaments were used to be played round the year across the country and players were able to lift the level of their game by taking part in eight to ten domestic tournaments. But now players are not getting ample hockey activity at national level,” said Akhtar. “I have taken both the points into consideration and will be working on them to expand the base of the game by finding new hockey talent with the involvement of the educational institutions.” He said the PHF would organise ten domestic hockey tournaments in a year and they need government support in this regard.
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