ISLAMABAD - Olympian Samiullah has lashed out at Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) saying the federation lacks direction and looks highly confused as far as taking Pakistan hockey forward.

Talking to The Nation, Samiullah said: “The federation started making tall claims after just one victory in the presently ongoing Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia and that too against minnows Canada. The victory was although a good and positive sign but it was not over the moon result. What a downfall Pakistan hockey has been witnessing and going through the worst periods.”

Sami said that it was time and again mentioned by the former greats to take positive and bold steps to save Pakistan hockey from further downslide, but unfortunately, no heed was paid. “The green shirts started well in the event by scoring 3-1 win against Canada, but after this win, the team management got relaxed and didn’t bother to rectify the errors made in the first match, which resulted in disaster as first the green shirts had to face humiliating defeat at the hands of New Zealand and then at the hands of mighty Australians.”

“The present year is very important as far as Pakistan hockey is concerned as green shirts have no major event to play in the entire year 2016. They are out of Rio 2016 Olympics for the very first time in our golden history, as earlier, they were out of world cup,” he added.

Suggesting the ways of reviving hockey Sami said: “The PHF must focus on finding fresh talent, then groom them and enable the fresh pool of players to train and practice at academies in different cities, which must be made active in at least the main cities. The federation must separate seniors, juniors and colts and appoint different coaches with all the three type of teams.”

He said that one thing was crystal clear that the present head coach and the federation were not on same page. There were reports of indifferences between coach Hanif Khan and the federation and only a day earlier, Hanif was convinced to travel with the team, the present players were no more youngsters and had vast experience of playing for the country.

“It is high time to work on fresh faces, until and unless clear cut planning, long-term policies to working on grassroots level are not finalized. The PHF should arrange maximum tours for national players and arrange matches between the three groups of players,” he added.

Sami also suggested that former greats and international players should be taken on board by the PHF and should empowered to work on a joint cause of taking Pakistan hockey back to same old glory days. “It can only be possible through dedication, devotion, hard work and the entire stake holders must be on same page.

“My doors are always open for hockey and its betterment. But the federation must come with clear cut frame of mind, give respect to past greats and pay heed to their suggestions in true letter and spirit, as we are the well wishers of Pakistan hockey and always give suggestions which are in benefit of the country and hockey,” Samiullah concluded.