Probe body recommends change of guard in PHF

ISLAMABAD: Now that the cat is out of the bag, the probe committee has finally held the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) responsible for the team’s poor performance in the Hockey World League Semi-finals which served as the Olympic Qualifying round.The probe committee constituted on the instructions of the prime minister to find reasons behind Pakistan hockey team debacle in Belgium also requested the prime minister, who happens to be the patron in chief of the PHF, to change the incumbent PHF set-up.The probe body which held its concluding meeting here on Thursday reached the conclusion after due deliberation that the PHF presently headed by former Olympians Akhtar Rasool (PHF president) and Rana Mujahid (PHF secretary) have completely failed to raise the standard of hockey in the country.With the committee meeting being presided over by Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) secretary Ejaz Chaudhry, sources privy to the development said that the committee in its final report which will be presented to the prime minister had recommended that the current management should be removed in the greater national interest.“We decided to recommend that the current administration should be replaced with a dedicated team,” said a member of the committee while requesting not to be named.On the other hand, the probe body also issued a statement at the end of the meeting, saying: “The committee observed many flaws in the preparation of the team for the Belgium event including failure to organise training camps well on time in addition to many other flaws in selection of players and officials.”The fitness level of the players and the way the players were managed were flawed, resulting in total demoralisation of the team which led to the Belgium debacle, said the statement.The committee further observed that the management of the team, affairs of the federation and selection procedure both of the team as well as managers themselves was devoid of any systematic and prudent practices.“The committee recommends to the patron in chief to take appropriate action in the interest of national hockey,” said the statement about which a committee member said that the appropriate action meant complete change of guards in the PHF.On the other hand, the probe body also recommended to the prime minister to provide required funds for uplift of hockey which it said should be utilised in transparent manner.The sources also said that some officials associated with the incumbent PHF set-up were accused of misusing funds which contributed to the hockey debacle.The committee members, as per the sources, agreed to recommend to the prime minister to order release of required funds for the PHF which should be utilised through a transparent system.The probe body also called for assigning specific role to the corporate sector to help the game of hockey in its revival through sponsorship.Moreover, experts might also be asked to prepare a 10-year action plan for the revival of the game on modern lines.

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