ISLAMABAD  - Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) president Chaudhry Akhtar Rasool Monday said he had given unconditional powers to head coach Shahnaz Shaikh and chief selector Islahuddin and had told them to select team on merit and there would be absolutely no interference from the federation.

In an interview with The Nation on Monday Akhtar said: “I assured head coach to bring the list of the selected players and I will approve the list blindly. I am grateful to former greats, who trusted in my abilities and lend unconditional support to the PHF. They had strong reservations with the previous PHF regime and their backing is of great significance not only for the federation and players but also for the entire nation, andit is a very positive and clear indication that we are moving in the right direction.”

He said for the first time in the history of Pakistan Hockey he had put the entire accounts position on website to keep a fair check and balance and bring complete transparency in utilization of funds and keep the records straight. Everyone should feel free and check accounts position as this is taxpayers’ money and masses must be aware about actual position of funds and expenditures, he added.

When this correspondent asks Akhtar how much time federation require to put Pakistan hockey back on right track he replied: “I can't commit exact timing right now as we have hardly taken over the reins of the federation. But my steps would prove that I had put hockey on right track. I had talked with Islah and Shahnaz. They both think it would take three to four years to revive fortunes of Pakistan hockey. It is my promise we would continue to generate activities one after another.”

He said the PHF we would organise school, college and domestic level competitions. “Hockey is changing fast. We learn with each passing day. To come up with terms with other nations we have to take extra-ordinary measures and steps. We had even given chance during the recently concluded trials to those players who were not even considered by their respective departments. We manage to detect immense amount of talent, which would be in beneficial to the team and country in the coming months and years.”

“We would start training camp for Asian Games title defense at Naseer Bunda Stadium from May 3. The camp would continue for four to five weeks. Then we will give 15 days break for conducting national championship and the camp would resume at Abbottabad, then we would embark on international tour.”

He said to execute their plans federation needs sufficient amount funds and secretary Inter Provincial Coordination Ch Ejaz had not only appreciated their plans but also endorsed them to other federations. “I would submit detailed report about planned events during the current year to IPC secretary in a day or two. IPC secretary would take up the report with Prime Minister. I am quite hopeful a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would take place in a week or two and as a sportsman, sports lover and patron in chief of PHF, the PM will help federation in best possible way.”

He said he was also trying to woo private sector to patronize the federation. “I had also written letters to corporate sector, MD Bahria Town Malik Riaz, Mian Mansah of MCB, banks and other high profile institutes to lend a helping hand to federation.

I am quite hopeful Nadra will soon renew the contract with the PHF. We had set lot of goals, but we need maximum funds for materialising our dreams and within the due time Pakistan would start giving the satisfactory results like past.”