LAHORE -  Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Riaz Hussain Pirzada has said that the government is taking to bring more international sports events to Pakistan.

“We are extending cooperation to the national sports federations for hosting maximum international sports competitions in various disciplines, said the minister while talking to the reporters during the Pakistan and World XI hockey match at the National Hockey Stadium.

Pirzada said that it is a good sign for Pakistan sports that foreign teams have started visiting the country and the presence of World XI widely speaks about the efforts of the government for creating peaceful atmosphere for elite sports event by defeating terrorism.

“The World XI tour will give a positive message to the world that Pakistan is a peace loving country and its people are sport friendly. The government will also encourage the PHF to host more international hockey events in future by extending cooperation and all-out support,” he added.

He expressed his gratitude to the law enforcement agencies and the federal and Punjab governments for making the World XI tour a success. “I want the provincial governments to play their due role in the overall development of the sports by allocating sufficient funds and creating sports facilities and infrastructure and as it was not possible by the federal government alone to achieve this objective.”

He said the visit of World XI has added to the prestige and respect of the country and presence of world’s best hockey players in Pakistan is a message for the world that the country is safe for hosting international sports events.

The minister praised the efforts of the Pakistan Hokey Federation (PHF) in arranging the World XI tour in the best possible way and said the induction of the Pakistani and foreign players in the ‘Hall of Fame’ would also contribute in the revival of the game. “With sincere efforts, hard work and grooming young players, the PHF will be able to lift the hockey out of present gloom and will strive hard to achieve lost glory.”

Meanwhile, Secretary Sports Punjab Muhammad Aamir Jan said that Sports Board Punjab (SBP) is taking every possible measure for the promotion of hockey in the province.

“As many as 25 astro-turfs are also being laid in several cities of province. Punjab government, under the vision of its Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, has been making sufficient efforts to build a top level sports infrastructure in the province. Dozens of sports gymnasiums, cricket grounds, playfields and sports complexes are being constructed in all major cities of Punjab.”

The secretary sports said the tour of World XI is a positive sign for the future of sports in Pakistan. “The talented young players of the country will get a great inspiration from top hockey stars of the world and help the country retain its lost glory.”





Our Staff Reporter