By Rashid Ali Siddiqui, Karachi – Pakistan, Apr 16, 2014: National game received a shot in its arm after disgruntled former Olympians joined the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) in different capacities thus ending years long their opposition.
However, former Olympian Samiullah stands on his principle stand and refused to join the present set-up. Those who did not join the PHF juggernaut include former Olympian Qamar Zia, Kashif Jawad, Naved Alam, Waseem Feroz and former International Mohammad Shafiq.
PHF Executive Board met in Lahore on Wednesday and took some vital decision to bring the former Olympians in the fold. The board formed new selection committee, team managements for senior and junior teams and made certain other appointments aimed at lifting standard of hockey and bringing a sustainable change from the grassroots to the national levels.
Former Olympian Islahuddin Siddiqui has been appointed chief selector while members include former Olympians Ayaz Mehmood, Khalid Bashir, Musaddiq and Arshad Ali Chaudhry. Another antagonist of PHF policies in past former Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh made the chief coach/manager of the Senior Hockey team while Nasir Ali, Malik Shafqat, Sameer Hussain and Abuzar Umrao will assist him as members.
Their term will remain till 2016. Another former Olympian Manzoor-ul-Hassan has been appointed chief coach and manager of the Pakistan Junior team with Qamar Ibrahim, Kamran Ashraf, Muhammad Akhlaq, Rehan Butt and Mohammed Irfan as members.
Their job will remain till the Junior World Cup to be held in 2016. Former Olympian Tahir Zaman has been appointed as Director Coaching Program who would also work for the improvement of the game.
Now, the ball is in former Olympians court and they have to deliver for the betterment of hockey. If they fail to do justice with their responsibilities it will be unfortunate for the game, which is already at the lowest ebb at international level. —- By: Rashid Ali Siddiqui
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