KARACHI -  Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has approved Rs 100 million recurring grant for the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) to promote its activities in the province and vowed to reconstruct the hockey stadium.

The CM announced this while talking to the delegation of PHF led by its president Brig (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar here at CM house on Monday.  The members of the delegation, who attended the meeting, include Vice President Tariq Huda, Secretary Shahbaz Ahmed Senior, Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi, secretary sports, Chief Engineer Karachi Cantonment Board Zohaib Mujahid Bukhari and Chief Engineer Sports Department Aslam Maher.

Murad said that he is keen to revive the lost glories of hockey. "I would extend you all-out support whatever you need but you have to activate your clubs in the province and have to start international hockey in the city," he told the PHF president.

PHF president Brig (r) Khalid Sajjad said that the federation has been facing financial problems while the hockey stadium has been declared as a dangerous building. On this, the CM Sindh directed secretary finance Hassan Naqvi to release Rs 3.5 million within three days and told the meeting that the provincial government would reconstruct the Abdul Sattar Edhi Hockey Stadium. He directed the chief engineer sports, who was present in the meeting, to start survey of the stadium and make its PC-I for his approval.

The PHF chief said that they need a substantial annual grant so that they may continue their operation all over Sindh. On this, the Sindh CM approved Rs100 million annual grant and directed secretary finance to release it within next 10 days.

He also directed secretary finance to include it in the annual budget so that every year, the federation could get the budget amount. In the meeting, it was decided that on January 10, 2018, international hockey event would be held in Karachi. The international players of ‘Hall of Fame’ would participate in the matches. The meeting also decided that the hockey federation would also hold national matches in Karachi and Mirpurkhas. A similar event would also be held for intermediate students within next two months.

The CM Sindh urged them to activate hockey clubs in the province. There should be by-laws of the clubs to be governed by the federation, he said and added that if the clubs are running professionally, they would be able to produce world class players. Murad said that like cricket, hockey also needs to be made commercial. "I will help you and support you,” he assured the federation.