ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Olympian Rana Mujahid has sent SoS call to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is also PHF patron, to immediately release special grant as the federation is in dire financial crisis.

Talking to The Nation, Mujahid said: “The file of financial grant has been lying on the table for the last several weeks and the time is running out fast. Any further delay in release of special grant can cost the federation, the team and the country dearly.”

“The funds situation is very critical and we have to put off a number of plans just because of financial constraints. If Spanish Hockey Federation (SHF) commits their national team matches against Pakistan hockey team, we will be then in hot waters as lack of funds are badly hampering our future ambitions. Any further delay can spell further disasters for the PHF and the team. We are the defending Asian Games title and I am fully aware of the fact that the national team had not played any international series or tournament for the last 11 months or so.”

“PHF president Akhtar Rasool has been doing his best to contact Prime Minister and arrange a meeting to discuss problems being faced by the federation. The current political situation of the country is another reason meeting dates are yet to be finalized, but I am sure soon the PHF chief will call on the PM, who will surely rescue the federation and order immediate release of special grants. As soon as we receive financial assistance, it is my promise I will immediately clear dues of the team management, the selectors and coaches and also hand over central contracts to the players,” Mujahid added.

“We have decided to call off Spanish tour because of visa issues and above all the Spanish Hockey Federation was not ready to let their national team play against Pakistan team, so it makes no sense of wasting huge amount of national kitty on such trips, which will be not more than wastage of time and money,” he stated.

“We will finish the Lahore camp today (Friday) and shift it to Islamabad on August 31 or September 1. The team will continue to train at Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium. We have also decided to depart to Korea on September 10, as the POA has decided to send Pakistani Asian Games-bound contingent on September 18. We will not only play matches against Korean hockey team but also against different clubs and available international teams, who reach Korea for Asian Games. It will certainly help national team in adjusting to the conditions and provide the team much-needed match practice,” Mujahid concluded.