Pakistan wants to see Indian players in its hockey league


—Photo by hindustantimes

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) president Brig. (R) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar Friday said he wants to see Indian players in the inaugural edition of the Pakistan Hockey League (PHL) but would seek government’s permission first for inviting the arch-rivals.

Talking to media persons here at Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC) office, he said when it comes to inviting Indian players in any league or tournament then this subject becomes of the government therefore we will take government’s consent first in this regard and then decide.

He said we had set a vision of 2020 and currently our focus is the Asian Games through which we want to qualify directly for the Olympics.

“We are running PHF honestly and sincerely but time is needed in revival of the game as nothing can happen on the blink of an eye,” he said.

Khokhar said we had also requested Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) to conduct the federation’s audit.

Speaking about revival of hockey, he said the World XI team will visit Pakistan in January next year to play three matches in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

“The Sindh government has also allocated Rs 100 million in their budget for hockey,” he said and added Chief Minister Sindh will also be buying two teams of PHL.

He said we had also finalized a PC-1 which includes laying astro-turfs in Naseer Bunda hockey stadium, Wah Cantt, Faisalabad, Peshawar, Quetta and Sialkot.

“We have also called in a foreign goalkeeper coach to train our players,” he said and added we are also holding trials in Mardan.

Khokhar said ZTBL and Fauji Foundation teams have also been finalized. “PMDC hockey academy will also be established soon,” he said.

Commenting about criticism faced by former Olympians, he said we have always been taught to respect our elders and we will always do. —APP