LAHORE: Former Pakistan players Samiullah and Col. (retd.) Mudassar Asghar on Monday slammed Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary Shahbaz Ahmed Senior for issuing a controversial statement that even ten secretaries and twenty coaches cannot change the fate of the Pakistan hockey and termed it as an attempt to misguide the hockey circles in the country.
“Instead of issuing such awful statements, the secretary should have resigned from his post since he has no right to continue after wasting huge financial resources and getting poor results in his tenure,” said Samiullah who was dubbed as the Flying Horse in his playing days.
Talking to Dawn, Samiullah said: “Shahbaz’s statement is a total misguiding one for the hockey circles and government institutions. Even one honest, dedicated and unbiased secretary can change the fate of Pakistan hockey in a matter of few years.”
“I am not claiming that an honest and dedicated secretary will make Pakistan the top team of world hockey in two years, but at least he can bring it among the top six teams,” he added.
Sami noted it was ironic that in the last 15 years the sports of the country were constantly on the decline and added that if in the tenure of a sportsman like PM Imran Khan the situation does not change, then no one could bring improvement in the standards.
“The things cannot improve if the PHF officials continue to stay in seven-star hotels while the players are accommodated in hostels,” he lamented.
He went on to add that the main problems with the Pakistan hockey was that every official of the PHF was reluctant to quit his post despite the horrendous show of national team. “Every PHF official is out to consolidate his position and extend his tenure which is a sorry state of affairs. A dedicated person will not compromise on any issue can achieve enough in just one tenure,” observed Samiullah.
He alleged that Shahbaz was involved in nepotism, sending favourites and undeserving people on tours to waste precious PHF money. “Shahbaz has never been serious about running the national hockey affairs and now he is talking about the necessity of building four academies,” he said.
Meanwhile, former secretary PHF Mudassar pointed out that the PHF did not prepare the team well enough for the World Cup and the results were for everyone to see.
“The PHF did not hold the national junior championship in the last three years which is the real platform to groom young talent for the seniors team and for any mega event,” said Mudassar. “Who stopped Shahbaz from holding the national junior championship? Instead he wasted money on the developing squad from which not a single player could qualify for the World Cup squad.”
“Now he (Shahbaz) is talking about academies but he was the main critic when Asif Bajwa raised so many academies. The truth is that no academy can do wonders overnight and dedication and hardwork is required to produce good players.”
Endorsing Samiullah’s views, Mudassar said: “If you will make the team with sincerity Pakistan can still play the semifinals of big tournaments.”
He also urged the government to conduct an overhaul of the PHF. “The govt must intervene now to streamline the affairs of hockey and it should go for severe accountability over the misuse of funds provided by the current PHF regime besides launching a probe into the team’s poor performance in the World Cup 2018,’ he insisted.
Mudassar added that Shahbaz had failed miserably as administrator and it was no blame-game but the biggest fact. ‘All the top PHF officials have failed in all departments and they should accept the reality and should go home,” he concluded.