Rescue Pakistan hockey

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by asrar737, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. asrar737

    asrar737 FHF Regular Player

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    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect...d-to-oust-bajwa-phf-given-ultimatum-530-ha-03

    KARACHI: Eighty-nine former hockey players including Olympians and internationals, seething with rage and disgust, have banded together on one platform to rescue the sport from those conspiring to destroy it.

    “Bajwa Bhagao, Hockey Bachao†was the slogan on all lips when 89 heroes of the game came out to express their revulsion and sorrow over Pakistan hockey’s demise, with the aggrieved nation.

    “We give Pakistan Hockey Federation [PHF] President Qasim Zia a three-day ultimatum to remove the culprit behind the game’s massacre — his secretary Asif Bajwa,†they announced.

    “Otherwise, we will organise into a proper pressure group and meet with the game’s Patron-in-Chief Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and even the President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari. We will do whatever it takes to rescue hockey,†they warned.

    “Bajwa says that they would like to forget what happened in the World Cup and look ahead at the future. Well, we too want to look ahead but he is in the way. Get him out of the way, he is blocking our view,†lamented Pakistan’s most successful captain Olympian Islahuddin Siddiqui.

    “We are letting Qasim Zia off the hook for now as he has been doing his job of generating funds for the federation. That is after all what is expected of the PHF president. But his secretary Bajwa has been giving him wrong feedback,†said the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics gold medallist Ayaz Mahmood.

    Islah added: “But we will hold Qasim Zia responsible as well if he doesn’t take any step now. He should listen to us, 89 hockey stars assembled to save our national sport from dying an untimely death, if he wants to get the full picture of what really is going on in Pakistan hockey today.

    “Poor Shahid Ali Khan didn’t want to say anything after the team’s return from India but he took Bajwa’s side as he must have been briefed to do so. Frankly, you cannot expect any of PHF’s paid employees to say anything against their bosses,†pointed out Islah who was speaking on the basis of facts and figures.

    “Tahir Zaman and Shahbaz Senior are big players to part ways with the federation. Shahid had no business criticizing them for what they did,†he said.

    “And can someone please tell me if goalkeeper Nasir Ahmed was simply taken on a picnic? Why wasn’t he brought in after Salman Akbar failed to stop as many as 19 goals? We didn’t expect this of Shahid Ali Khan, who has also been a great goalkeeper of his time besides being a former goalkeeping coach,†Islah said.

    Another person accused of switching teams to side with the former legends in their cause was Waseem Feroz. “I have always sided with hockey and the green shirts, not Bajwa,†he said while clarifying his position.

    “Bajwa may be young or dynamic but that doesn’t mean that he be allowed to dance on his seniors’ heads,†he added.

    Meanwhile, another Olympian and former coach Qamar Ibrahim stated: “The junior boys trust me as I have worked with them in the capacity of coach. I don’t want to disclose names here but some of them after returning told me that they never announced their retirement. They reasoned they had their entire career ahead of them, why would they want to retire? Perhaps this, too, was one of Bajwa’s schemes of saving face by transferring the blame from himself to the boys.

    “I was also shocked to hear former captain Akhtar Rasool utter that such things happen. Perhaps that is why the PHF has no legend on its side other than him,†said ex-Olympian goalkeeper Qamar Zia.

    “We have proudly raised the Pakistan flag all over the world. There was a time when Pakistan had each and every hockey title to its name. We were world champions, Olympic champions. We created and won the Champions Trophy, too. But where are we now?

    “Imagine how we feel looking at the current situation. We have a right to be angry when we see a team ranked at number seven in the world coming 12th. The FIH had earlier suggested holding a 16-team World Cup in order to save some teams, including Pakistan, from playing in the qualifiers. If that happened, we would have come 16th out of the 16 playing teams, too,†he said with disgust.

    “The reasons behind Pakistan performing so poorly in the World Cup when the boys were capable of doing much better need to be investigated,†he added.

    “We are not getting personal by attacking Bajwa alone here,†said former federation secretary Olympian Akhtar-ul-Islam. “We just see failure as the responsibility of the PHF secretary.â€

    “We have the best interests of the sport at heart. We have not come out looking for seats within the federation here but we are available for our country whenever the need arises,†Islah clarified.

    “We think it was brave of Qasim Zia to dissolve the team management and selection committee but we wonder what is keeping him from making the most obvious and important decisions of all, which is getting rid of his secretary, the root of all problems here.

    “Bajwa came through the backdoor when Olympian Khalid Mahmood, who happened to have captained the Pakistan team, which won the first World Cup, was removed through one letter. He may have come through selection or election, it does not matter. He has just been unable to do anything positive for hockey during this entire time.

    “Pakistan is a great country and hockey, a great sport. Please don’t belittle it by playing games within the game of hockey,†Islah concluded.

    The 89 players also included Samiullah, Kaleemullah, Hanif Khan, Shahnaz Sheikh, Naveed Alam, Rashid-ul-Hassan, Mohammad Saqlain, Tariq Aziz, Saleem Sherwani, Jahangir Butt and Arif Bhopali while those who couldn’t attend the meeting were available on the phone lines.
     
  2. asrar737

    asrar737 FHF Regular Player

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    Their line of action is in wrong direction. Unless they improve the hockey at the grassroot level, things will continue to get worst in the future.
     

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