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PHF to help Afghanistan develop hockey


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-Photo by Sara Faruqi

LAHORE: Pakistan has said it would help foster the development of field hockey in Afghanistan, hoping to replicate its success in supporting its war-ravaged neighbour's rise in cricket.

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) promised to give Afghanistan a place in their domestic competitions and provide equipment, resources and technical assistance.

Since the Taliban's ouster in 2001, Pakistan has provided similar help to Afghan's cricketers which has seen them rise to one-day status in 2009 and qualify for back-to-back World Twenty20s in 2010 and 2012.

An “MoU was signed between PHF and Afghanistan Hockey Federation in which we have offered our professional support to the friendly country”, the PHF said in a statement.

Afghanistan have competed in field hockey at regional level but the sport lags behind the popularity football and cricket enjoy in the country.

Cricket has overtaken football in recent years, helped by the return of refugees who learned the game in Pakistan after fleeing the Soviet invasion in 1979.

The PHF said it would help field hockey take root in Afghanistan.

“There is a provision of technical assistance in restructuring and reformation of the game of hockey in Afghanistan on modern scientific lines and we will do that through our resources,” it said.

Pakistan have been a major force in field hockey, winning three Olympic titles and four world crowns, but have suffered a slump in recent years.

They are reigning Asian champions after winning the title in 2010 in China, despite dropping to their worst 12th finish in the World Cup (2010) and seventh in the Olympics in London last year.

Pakistan is one of the world's top hockey stick makers and the PHF said it would also donate 100 sticks and 100 balls to Afghanistan every year.

Comments (7) Closed

Umair Khalid (@umairkd2011) Apr 23, 2013 01:29pm
first develop your own hockey , then give assistance to others PHF
Asif Kashmiri Apr 23, 2013 01:50pm
well said.
G.A. Apr 23, 2013 05:13pm
Another team. That's wonderful! Pakistan, India and Afghanistan can then compete for the last three positions in a tournament instead of the last two! So happy.
Shahzaib Quraishi Apr 23, 2013 06:32pm
Help others when your own house is in order! We pushed for Bangladesh to get Test status in cricket, and even they have refused to visit us... And the state of our own hockey is deplorable! PHF needs to spend the amount of resources they are going to spare for Afghanistan to bolster our own team.
Omar Apr 23, 2013 02:54pm
Why do we care about anything in Afghanistan? What has that country ever done for us?
Asif Kashmiri Apr 23, 2013 01:50pm
we are we helping others when we cannot help ourselves?
M A Mujeeb Apr 23, 2013 10:43am
The PHF should oncentrate on Pak hockey whcih has delined over the past 20 years rahter than helping Afghan Team