ISLAMABAD - Olympian Nasir Ali Saturday lambasted those who are trying to sneak into the Pakistan Hockey Federation from backdoors and asked the government to play its role to help the game of hockey financially or else ban the game.

“We have written a letter to government and Standing Committee to pay heed towards national game hockey,” said Nasir while talking to The Nation. “If government can’t give financial support to PHFn, then government should ban hockey completely.”

He lambasted few certain elements and held them responsible for bringing hockey to such lows, who just for personal egos, leveling serious allegation against the elected body. “Bringing ad hoc set up in federation and sending elected representatives to home is not the solution. Pakistan team will fall to 18th in FIH rankings, due to non-participation in the pro-hockey league because of financial restraints.”

He alleged the so-called critics just wanted to sneak into the federation from backdoor and did not have any plans or vision.

“We should work for the sake of hockey and not to gain personal benefits. As Olympians, we had served Pakistan hockey for years and it badly hurts when we witness, hockey is going down in Pakistan with each passing day. Today whatever we enjoy is just because of hockey. It had given us so much name and fame and now its pay-back time. We want to revive hockey and the best way of doing so is to join hands for the betterment of players and national game.”

He said Olympians Salim Shirwani, Safdar Abbas, Muhammad Ali and Kashif Jawad were all with him during the press briefing and they had written a letter to government and Senate Standing Committee on Sports to have mercy and don’t play with the futures of the national game. “Hockey is not only our recognition world-wide but we were former world champions, former Olympic champions and we had won all the mega tournaments. PHF President Brig (R) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar had done so much for revival of hockey. He had arranged funds from personal friends and ensured Pakistan hockey team participate in number of international events as the government had long stopped funds for federation. Pakistan hockey team will suffer badly as they will slide down to 18th from 12th in FIH latest rankings due to non-participation in pro-league, for which we feel government is purely responsible as federation had time and again requested IPC Minister, IPC Secretary to spare some time and have mercy on national game, but former IPC Secretary Jameel Ahmed, whom we consider as the enemy of hockey, kept on sitting on the letters sent by the federation and kept on lingering the requests for release of funds for participation in pro-hockey. The government should order inquiry against the ex-IPC secretary and exemplary punishment should be given for playing with the future of national game. Had he handled the things properly, we would have never witness this day as FIH has imposed ban on Pakistan hockey team.”

Nasir further said it was the right of the government to conduct forensic audit of the PHF funds and federation had always given go ahead and ready to go through any audit government wanted to conduct. But stopping national team participation in international events will never help. Pakistan hockey team will be deducted massive 350 points by FIH for absence in pro-league. The government, IPC and PSB must take steps and ensure Pakistan hockey teams’ participation in international events. We also get hammering and taste defeats, but it makes no sense of criticising for the sake of criticism. Healthy criticism is always welcome but people are using below the belt remarks for hockey and federation and as Olympians, we feel very ashamed.”

He said these elements were not sincere with the game and have their own vested interests.

He said Olympians should join hands with federation for the sake of hockey not for enjoying and making hockey a laughing stock. Hockey federation should not be a job centre for these certain elements, while we feel government should also come clear and rather than paying heed towards these elements, the government must invite federation and hold meaningful dialogues to take Pakistan hockey forward,” Nasir concluded.”