KARACHI: Terming Pakistan’s performance in the recently concluded four-nation international hockey festival in Melbourne as “pathetic”, legendary Olympian Samiullah has demanded an immediate inquiry into the shameful result.
“The greenshirts have failed to rise in the last two years and have virtually put the heads of country’s former hockey stalwarts down,” Samiullah said while talking to Dawn on Monday.
The iconic left-winger of yore urged the Ministry of the Inter-provincial Coordination to initiate a probe into the Melbourne debacle forthwith as it brought disgrace to the nation.
Pakistan finished at bottom in the quadrangular event in the Australian city losing all the four games including the playoff for the third position.
Pakistan suffered a 1-9 drubbing from Australia — green-shirts’ worst-ever loss in international games — followed by a 1-3 loss to minnows Japan, 2-3 to New Zealand and again 1-2 to Japan in the third-place match.
“The Melbourne defeats, particularly, twice to Japan, indicate that the [current] team have no ability to fight back,” lamented Samiullah.
Samiullah, who is known as ‘flying horse’ for his superb hockey skills, reckoned the situation for Pakistan hockey is alarming and added that the incumbent hierarchy has failed to deliver the goods during the last two years.
“Since assuming the role in August 2015 as PHF president, retired Brig Khalid Sajjad Khokhar and secretary Shahbaz Ahmed have miserably failed to solve employment problem of players and the base is shrinking,” he remarked.
Taking current performance of the team and the PHF’s lack of visiton into consideration, Samiullah said, “I see no light at the end of tunnel”.
He said it’s time to focus on under-19 players whose fitness level he said will be much higher then the present lot.
“The corruption charges levelled by the secretary of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Hockey Association Zahir Shah against the PHF high-ups need to be probed,” Samiullah said when asked to comment on KP official’s statement to the media the other day.
He also demanded of the government to probe alleged embezzlement of PHF funds by Qasim Zia, Akhtar Rasool, Asif Bajwa and Rana Mujahid.
Published in Dawn, November 14th, 2017