ISLAMABAD - Pakistan business community has offered to play its active role and raising funds for the revival of the national game hockey.
Pakistan hockey is continuously on a path of downfall since long and it hit another low in last month when Pakistan failed to qualify for the Olympics Games first time in 68 years. Earlier, Pakistan had also failed to qualify for World Cup 2014 and sports pundits and games stakeholders are united in their opinion that lack of financial support was behind this decline.
On behalf of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), its acting president Ashfaq Hussain Chatha has given Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and government a golden offer to raise funds for the game through a donation campaign involving all chambers of the country to put the national game back on track.
He made this offer during a meeting with Rawalpindi Islamabad Sports Journalists Association (RISJA) representatives who visited the ICCI office on Tuesday to discuss the issues being faced by Pakistan sport and requested the chamber to play its role for promotion of sports in the country.
“Being a Pakistani, it hurts to see struggling Pakistani hockey, which once ruled the world and now it has even failed to qualify for the next year’s Rio Olympics. Not only hockey but also other sports have been suffering due to lack of infrastructure, facilities and funds and government is least bothered to redress the issues. We are ready to help hockey in the best possible way just like we helped disabled sports,” the ICCI president said.
Chatha also announced to establish a one million rupees annual fund for sports promotion and said a committee comprising ICCI members and sports journalists would suggest ways to promote sports in the country.
He said the ICCI had already been supporting special athletes and its former president Mehfooz Elahi and ICC sports committee chairman Saeed Ahmed Bhatti were with Pakistani special athletes in World Games in Los Angles, where Pakistan won 62 medals. The ICCI president also lauded RISJA’s role and tireless efforts for promotion of sports and highlighting issues of twin cities’ players.
RISJA chairman Abdul Mohi Shah said that Pakistani players needed sponsorships to excel and business community should come forward to provide financial support to the talented players. RISJA president Mohsin Ali appreciated role of the ICCI for patronising sports activities including Pakistan cricket team for special persons.