ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, who is Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) patron-in-chief, carries on playing hide and seek with hockey players and officials as he cancels the meeting with them for the fifth time.

The PM’s meeting with Asian Games and Champions Trophy silver medal winning hockey team and officials was due on March 20 but this time too, the meeting was called off at the 11th hour.

Talking to The Nation, head coach Shahnaz Sheikh earlier told this Scribe that he was not aware of the meeting’s postponement, but later on, he said that he had just received a call from the federation and revealed: “The players were asking me about the meeting and I was assuring them it is very much on, but now it was cancelled one again. I know the prime minister is very busy these days, but I want to request him that he must meet the team before Olympic qualifiers in June, as it will be a great boost for them who already have been going through pain and agony of not playing the World Cup last year. Being Muslims, we are not upset or disappointed, and quite sure the PM will spare some time for us which will prove a morale booster for the boys.”

“I request the PM that the meeting must take place before the Olympic qualifiers in Belgium, or else we could suffer badly. The national hockey team is going to Karachi on March 22, as Omar Associates have hosted a reception, gold medals and a cash prize of Rs 2.2 million for the players. After that, we assemble in Lahore on March 23 as Punjab government has arranged a march past, in which people from different walks of life will take part,” he added. “We are working without getting any incentive. The players need central contracts and my staff also working purely for the sheer love of the country but how long we can survive without getting any incentive,” Shahnaz concluded.