Comedy of errors: Confusion reigns supreme in Pakistan hockey federation

Karachi, Jul 26 (Hockey News) Three-time former Olympic champions Pakistan is facing one of its worst crisis with total confusion prevailing over the functioning of Pakistan Hockey Federation.

Since the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) had denotified all the office-bearers of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) on the expiry of their tenure, there has been no clarity about who is running the day-to-day affairs of the federation.

On Saturday, the denotified President of the PHF, Brig (retd) Khalid Sajjad Khokar announced the appointment of former international, Saeed Khan as the new secretary-general in place of Asif Bajwa.

The federation became a laughing stock when Bajwa refused to leave his office and occupied the secretary-general's seat on Monday and Tuesday, insisting he was still in charge.

Saeed Khan, who is based in Paris and was asked to take charge as secretary-general by Monday, has now been told to stay put until further instructions.

To cap the comedy of errors, Khalid Sajjad Khokar on Tuesday left for Birmingham to attend the Commonwealth Games as President of the PHF.

"These people have turned our national game into a 'Tamasha' and even the government is doing nothing," former Olympian, Samiullah Khan lamented.

And in all this choas, the Pakistan hockey squad has departed for Birmingham to take part in the Commonwealth Games with little hopes of reaching the medal podium.

Former captain and Olympian, Manzoor ul Hasan said things have only gone from bad to worse in Pakistan hockey because the government has remained a silent spectator.

At present no one is aware whether Khokar is constitutionally and legally allowed to remain President or not because the Pakistan Sports Board had denotified Khokar, Bajwa and some others early this month as the PHF had not held its elections as per its constitution in May this year.

But the PSB surprised everyone by then announcing a four-member ad-hoc committee to hold elections of the PHF within 30 days but the icing on the cake was that it appointed Khokar to head the committee.

Khokar, who has been President since 2013, has in the meantime refused to accept the de-notification of the PSB and its appointment of a ad-hoc committee and claims he is still President as constitutionally the PSB cannot interfere in hockey affairs.

"And in all this horrid situation the PHF President has found time to fly to Birmingham," Samiullah added.

The choas deepened on Tuesday when before leaving for Birmingham, Khokar issued another order re-appointing a former celebrated player, Manzoor junior as chief selector although just two days back he had appointed another celebrated name, Kaleemullah for the same post.

Pakistan hockey failed to qualify for next year's World Cup in India after finishing 5th in the Asia Cup which was held two months back. The PHF has not yet made public an inquiry report into the debacle. 

Also Read : 20 weeks turnaround time for HI election and adoption of Constitution not acceptable: FIH

News Source : PTI


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