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Sub-committee formed to analyse reasons behind hockey decline

Sub-committee formed to analyse reasons behind hockey decline

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Inter-provincial Coord­ination (IPC) on Monday formed a sub-committee to investigate reasons behind the ailing state of Pakistan hockey.

The committee meeting, held at the Parliament House, was chaired by Sen­ator Sardar Mohammad Yaqoob Khan Nasar who expressed concerns over the national game’s constant decline after Pakistan’s victory in the 1994 World Cup.

Nasar said massive steps have to be taken to re-lift the sport and therefore appointed the three-member sub-committee featuring senators Walid Iqbal, Lt. Gen (retired) Salahuddin Tirmizi and Seemee Edzi.

The committee will look into Pakistan Hockey Federation’s performance in the recent years and is responsible to identify the events that led to the disastrous state of the national sport. Meanwhile, Senator Iqbal directed the PHF to furnish the audit reports of the last three years to the committee.

After the national team’s withdrawal from the FIH Pro Hockey League, PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmed had resigned from his position apparently to put pressure on government to release funding for PHF. The resignation request, however, was turned down by the national hockey body’s president.

Both officials, through a presentation, told the committee that the PHF received Rs542 million from federal and provincial governments from August 2015 to December 2018, out of which it spent Rs531 million.

The officials said the PHF does not have a regular source of income and a fragile domestic structure and lack of interest at the grass-root level is also adding to the tough situation.

They said departments, banks and service institutions who previously used to maintain and manage hockey teams are also withdrawing their involvement from the sport.

They also complained about the lack of astroturf grounds and that out of 24 synthetic surfaces, 10 are in dilapidated and unplayable condition.

Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2019

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