ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif has taken serious notice of Pakistan hockey team's dismal performance in the World Hockey League Semi-finals, where green shirts failed to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics for the first time in the country’ history.
The PM, who is also PHF patron, directed Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada to launch detailed inquiry and submit report regarding such pathetic results. The PM expressed his utter disappointment and wanted to know actual reasons behind this disgraceful performance despite providing best available facilities, funds and international exposure. “All their demands were met and Asian Games prize money was released, then why coaching staff and players failed badly to live up to the occasion.”
The sources confirmed to this scribe that the PM was very angry the way the team failed to qualify for the Olympics, despite playing in relatively easier group. “The PM had ordered the IPC minister to conduct inquiry and submit report in seven days.”
The sources said the IPC minister had also expressed his utter disappointment and immediately formed six-member committee comprising M Ejaz Chaudhary convener, Col (R) Mudassar Asghar, Shahbaz Ahmad Senior, , Khawaja M Junaid, Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera, and one representative of POA as members. The committee will inquire about the matter and put up a report and recommendations to the government, IPC ministry and Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) for onward submission to the prime minister.
It is pertinent to mention here that former hockey greats and hockey lovers have raised serious questions over inclusion of Shahbaz Senior in the committee, as according to them, Shahbaz Senior was enjoying the status of advisor to PHF president Chaudhry Akhtar Rasool and how it is possible, he will conduct impartial inquiry.
Former great Rasheedul Hasan welcomed the PM’s decision of conducting inquiry and demand stern action against the culprits who must be taken to task. “We were the proud champions and won all the major titles, but the incompetent PHF officials had destroyed hockey. We can't even think about not playing world cup and now we have been deprived of taking part in Olympics.”
The former Olympians demanded removal of Shahbaz Senior from inquiry committee and inclusion of persons who enjoy respect and reputation. He also demanded immediate sacking of the entire PHF management and said there must be long-term planning to save fast-declining Pakistan hockey. The PM step will send a very positive message among long suffering masses and genuine players who were deprived of representing the country,” Rasheed concluded.