Incompetent PHF top brass responsible for hockey decline: Manzoor Sr

ISLAMABAD –  Former hockey captain Manzoor-ul-Hassan has lambasted the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), holding them responsible for Pakistan hockey debacle.

Talking to The Nation, Manzoor, who was member of world cup winning Pakistan team and former head coach, said all the past greats and hockey lovers are in deep shock and sorrow. “We can’t expect that Pakistan hockey team could fall to such lows. We had won world cups, Champions Trophy, Asia Cup, Olympics and all the available titles in hockey, but now the national team is in complete disarray.

“Now this management had spent well over two years at the helm of affairs, but they didn’t know the direction. They are just making tall claims to take hockey to new heights, but practically they have done nothing for the betterment of Pakistan hockey, which has been declining with each passing day. They have ruined the national game and despite such worst results and pathetic approach, they are still clinging to their respective posts,” he added.

Manzoor questioned the purpose of sending national team to Australia, when they were fully aware about the poor state of their players. It was waste of time and money and to joy ride for few. But it further dented the morale of the players, as losing to teams like Japan, New Zealand and heavy defeat against Australia is a clear indication that where the green shirts are presently standing and what the federation has done so far in two years.

“They should have sent the team to Malaysia or worked on their mental and physical fitness. The money must have been spent on their diet and training purposes. What was the purpose of sending U-18 team to Australia, which also suffered a great deal? The current PHF officials don’t know the direction but just wasting their time and money,” he added.

“The time is ripe to prepare fresh blood, no matter if we don’t get even ordinary results in next year’s hockey world cup. We need to work on war-footings on fresh pool of players, because currently the national team has same 35 players, who were already utilised by the federation. It is the time to get rid of these flops and appoint serious and well-reputed persons,” Manzoor concluded.

Mazoor said it is very shameful day for every legend, who, in his capacity, had worked day and night and played out his hearts to win laurels for the country. “How much we have to suffer more at the hands of such incompetent persons, who don’t know the ABC of hockey and are free to destroy the national game. The government is least bother about keeping any check and balance on them and instead it is providing huge funds to the federation. But to utter disappointment, the national wealth is being plundered with both hands on personal tours and perks and privileges, instead of utilizing it on game and players’ promotion.

How on earth a person, who had never coached the senior team, could be appointed as manager/coach of the team. Farhat Kahn was a good player, but he had no experience of coaching at such level. The national team was already in complete disarray, so same flops of 1996 are gathered once again by the federation. They just want to silence every voice, that is raised against them,” he added.

The former hockey legend said: “We don’t want any post or favour and we are not against the federation, in fact, we are well-wishers and want Pakistan hockey to rise from ashes. It is only possible if the current PHF takes tough decisions and hires right man for right job. Passing on benefits just to stop criticism is not a wise decision which instead has further tarnished their reputation.

“I once again request Prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi and Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Riaz Pirzada to save hockey from further downslide, remove these bungling persons as early as possible and appoint the sincere and loyal technocrats, who want to take Pakistan hockey back to where it belongs. I know it won’t be an easy task to revive the fortunes of the national game, but at least sincere efforts can produce wonders,” Manzoor concluded.

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