LAHORE-Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) on Tuesday announced to resume hockey activities in the country by holding a series of events within next few months.

PHF Secretary Asif Bajwa said this in a video message and added: “International competitive hockey will be back with the start of FIH Pro League between Germany and Belgium in September. We have also received letters from International Hockey Federation (FIH) and Asian Hockey Federation (AHF). They also want us to restart our activities.

“We are trying to start Hockey5s League by the end of August, which will help us open the doors of our domestic hockey. We are also planning to hold the first round of national tray championship in September-October. Afterward, we will hold another national championship.”

He said that these events would be held while following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). “I have talked to PHF President Brig (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, national head coach Khawaja Junaid and junior team coach Danish Kaleem and discussed the plans to hold the events. The FIH is concentrating on Hockey5s as this format will be crucial for hockey’s future in Pakistan. If we want to revive the national game, we will have to focus on this format at school level as it can play a major role to achieve that target.”

Bajwa expressed the hope that like T20 cricket, the Hockey5s would provide a lot of entertainment to fans. This format will give a new direction to hockey. “The FIH has also announced Hockey5s World Cup in 2023, which might be pushed to 2024 due to COVID19 pandemic. But we have started our preparations for this event. The FIH has started coaching for Hockey5s format and we have also involved our coaches in these courses as we want to fully introduce this format in Pakistan.”

He said in order to mitigate the players’ financial problems during the prevailing situation, the PHF President had announced to give pandemic allowance to 30 hockey players on the recommendations of the coaches. “Both senior and junior players are included in the list for this allowance. Each player will get Rs 30,000 and the amount will be directly transferred to their accounts. Although the federation has been facing financial hardships, it will keep on working for the welfare of players.”