FIH withdraws hockey Olympic Qualifiers from Pakistan: PHF source

Karachi, Sep 12 (PTI) In a significant blow for Pakistan hockey, the world body (FIH) has taken away the hosting rights of the Olympic Qualifying tournament from the country because of infighting between the national federation and the nation’s Sports Board.

The Olympic Qualification tournament is scheduled to be held in January next year.

The International Hockey Federation’s decision came as a result of the ongoing tussle between the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and the state-owned Pakistan Sports Board (PSB).

“The FIH while taking away our hosting rights made it clear it was convinced that the sports board and government were not willing to cooperate with the PHF in the successful hosting of the event,” a PHF source said.

The FIH’s decision came as a big jolt to Pakistan hockey which had got the rights to host an international event after over a decade.

The PHF had already announced that the Olympic Qualifier would be held in Lahore in January.

But recent attempts by the PSB to interfere in PHF affairs in a bid to plant its own people in the federation has led to the chaos.

Several Olympians encouraged by the government’s ministry of inter provincial coordination and PSB have been trying to stage a coup in the PHF and get a vote of no confidence passed against the sitting president, Brigadier (retd) Khalid Sajjad Khokar and secretary Haider Hussain.

The Olympians include Asif Bajwa, Shahbaz Ahmed and Rana Mujahid, who served as secretaries in recent times, two of them under Khokar.

Source: PTI News


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