Pakistan’s participation in the upcoming Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia next month remains doubtful after the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) said it was facing a financial crunch.
The junior team’s tour to Singapore may also be scrapped unless the government releases the promised funds, PHF’s secretary Asif Bajwa told PTI.
According to Bajwa, the federation was promised 100 million rupees in funds by the federal government which were yet to be released, adding that the national body was surviving mainly on grants.
“The Punjab government had also promised us 30 million rupees which is yet to reach us,” Bajwa said.
The secretary added that the President of the PHF, Qasim Zia, a former Olympian and a sitting member of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party government, had used his political clout to get around 850 million rupees by way of grants in the last five years.
“We have also supplemented our revenues by getting sponsorship but it is an expensive sport and we spend millions on one foreign trip. We are also not able to make more money because of the refusal of foreign teams to visit Pakistan because of security reasons,” the former Olympian said.
Bajwa made it clear that Pakistan was facing a race against time and that the national team faced the possibility of sitting out the upcoming tournament
“We are expecting the grant from the Punjab government in two or three days while we have written several times for the grant from the federal government.”
The shortage of funds had also left the players uneasy who, according to Bajwa, were already anxious because the cash prizes promised to them by the Prime Minister after winning the Asian Champions Trophy were yet to be given to them.