ISLAMABAD - Pakistan hockey Federation President Brig (R) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar said Wednesday his top most priority was to get Pakistan hockey team cleared from FIH as soon as possible.

THE PHF chief was highly optimistic about world hockey governing body’s response and hoped for a very good outcome from the FIH disciplinary committee meeting, which would be held next month.

Talkin to the Nation, Brig Khokhar said: “I can understand PM Imran Khan facing lot of genuine issues and I am highly optimistic that he will soon handle things and spare some time for the national game and invite us for detailed briefing. After the passage of 18th amendment, sports were given to provinces. I had highly fruitful meetings with Sindh, KP and Punjab governments and I will soon meet Balochistan CM also as we need to jointly work for the promotion of hockey. I know federal government can’t spare much funds for sports but they should at least allocate amount to run day-to-day affairs or they should have the finances and just fulfil our requirements.”

He said the PHF had requested the FIH for personal appearance before the disciplinary committee and they are hopeful next month they will get the chance to explain their position and convince the FIH to either completely write out the fine proposed on Pakistan or impose some kind of token punishment and that too they should clear in parts.

“Pakistan hockey is going through important phase. We have started work on number of areas including the development squads. The visit of Uzbekistan hockey team has helped our juniors and clubs a great deal. After World Cup our senior team doesn’t had any major assignment as we failed to appear in Pro-Hockey League, which could have played highly important role in helping our team get into shape and play matches against different opponents. But our financial position prevented us from participating.”

He said wherever Uzbek team had visited whether in Gojra, Shekhupura, Okara and other parts it helped juniors. “We have ensured work on development squad and focused on providing chances to U-21 players. We managed to get lot of talent at junior level and let me tell all frankly, we have great potential at junior level and we are planning to arrange more torus and provide maximum opportunities to juniors to enhance pool of players as without working on juniors, we won’t be able to get desired results.”

He said the PHF was working on holding 65th Noor Khan National Hockey Championship in grand style soon after Eid as it is huge tribute to a national hero and we want to ensure Noor Khan Championship must live up to the namesake. “We are thinking about inducting three or four or may be more development squads teams in the national championship while my personal wish is to name the development squads after the former greats, who had given their entire lives for hockey while we could also give them provincial names as well. The championship is most likely could be held in Karachi or Lahore. We also want to conduct hockey-5 in Karachi as we are in contact with Navy, PAF and Army as well in this regard. But like I said the main objective at the moment is to avoid FIH ban and financial plenty on Pakistan because we are planning to host lot of international tournaments, which are not possible without FIH and Asian Hockey body.”

 He also requested IPC Minister Dr Fahmida Mirza to spare some time and meet the federation so they could inform her about the future plans and how they want to take Pakistan hockey forward. “I have worked tirelessly for the sake of hockey and I want to deliver for the country. Asif Bajwa will carry forward good steps taken by the former secretary and he will gradually inform about his future plans as well. We need to join hands to take Pakistan hockey forward,” Brig Khokhar concluded.