One-man show further destroying Pakistan hockey, says Samiullah
Urges govt to sack incapable federation and appoint ad hoc body to save national game
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Olympian Samiullah Khan Thursday lashed out at Pakistan Hockey Federation and termed they are not capable of taking Pakistan hockey forward.
Known as a flying horse during his playing days and one of the most fearsome players to have played hockey, Samiullah expressed these views while talking exclusively to 24Digital.
He said for the last five years, these persons sitting in the federation have failed to deliver and proved a complete flop as they neither have any vision nor direction.
“I can bet and challenge that Pakistan is blessed with an immense amount of talent both at junior and senior levels. But for that, one needs ruthless accountability and above all honesty, determination to deliver and pick the right talent.”
He said ever since Asif Bajwa was given the secretary slot, things have gone from bad to worse as there is no one who could seek an explanation from Asif Bajwa.
Sami questioned that why the one-man show is being run in the federation.
“If Brig (R) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar is not well, he should at least bring those in the federation who are loyal to hockey and want to take Pakistan hockey forward. How on earth a person like present secretary can turn the fortune of the national game.”
He said Bajwa is just busy giving statements one after another despite the pathetic performances of the national hockey teams both at the junior or senior levels.
He said Bajwa must be shown the doors without wasting any further time as he and his so-called policies had destroyed the national game and it will take years to repair this massive damage.
“After a highly shameful performance in the FIH Junior Hockey World Cup held in India, where all the tall claims of Asif Bajwa and PHF were badly exposed, it was hoped that Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza will take action and seek an explanation from the incumbent federation, but nothing happened. Then PHF put a meagre eye-washer and to get themselves out of the mounting pressure of masses and Olympians by playing the international coach appointment card and hired Siegfried Aikman as Pakistan hockey team head coach. I want to know when Khawaja Junaid was a super flop in his first term why he was again hired and if he was doing a good job why he was terminated and on what grounds and reasons the federation hired Siegfried Aikman?”
He said at one end Brig Khokhar and Bajwa are crying daily and seeking funds to run hockey affairs how on earth they get finances to pay the hefty salary of the foreign coach. “It is very much clear they will use the Rs50 million amount given by Army Chief to the federation. They will pay half of the amount on salaries and no one will know where the rest amount will vanish.”
Sami said if Junior World Cup’s worst performance was not enough to move the government and the IPC Minister then the eye-opening Asian Champions Trophy results should at least send alarm bells to the government.
“Had Malaysian team participated in the Asian Champions Trophy, Pakistan would have not played even in the semifinals. We, the sportsmen, had set huge hopes with Imran Khan as he is a sportsman and we were sure he will take Pakistani sports and especially hockey to the old glory days heights. But I must say, I am highly disappointed with Imran Khan as he never paid heed towards improving the sorry state of affairs of overall sports in Pakistan and especially hockey, squash, tennis and all such sports, in which Pakistan was doing great. Imran is now in the 4th year of his tenure and I have lost hope in him now. I don’t think Imran is serious about Pakistani sports decline.”
He said if right men are appointed and the hockey affairs are given to them, they can take Pakistan hockey to its old glory days as Pakistan have enough depth in both junior and senior levels talent and all we need is sheer commitment.
He said if the authorities give powers to him and allow him to appoint the right persons, he is ready to help Pakistan hockey but only with the condition that he will not tolerate dictation nor any intervention as merit will be the only criteria of selection and no outside noise will be given importance.
“It is high time that entire federation should be sacked and ad hoc body should be appointed so that they could turn the fortunes of hockey or else all the past records of Pakistan hockey will only be available in history books.”
“Look at our neighbours India. Not only their state governments, the federal government, film stars, but commoners are also taking keen interest that’s why Indians managed to win a medal in Tokyo Olympics in Japan. We can also involve former greats and businessmen but they will only take interest when they see positive changes. I request PM Khan and IPC Minister to have mercy on hockey and youth of Pakistan and take strict action against Pakistan Hockey Federation’s highly flopped office-bearers to save hockey,” Sami concluded.