The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) on Saturday re-elected retired Brigadier Khalid Sajjad Khokhar as their president, Shahbaz Ahmed Senior as the secretary and Ikhlaq Usmani as the treasurer of the organisation — all three elected unopposed.

The vice-presidents for all four provinces were also elected unopposed in today’s election held in Islamabad. Khawar Anwar Khawaja was elected for Punjab, Muhammad Saeed Khan for Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, Chaudhry Ismail Gujjar for Balochistan and Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah for Sindh.

The election process took place smoothly, after which the top three administrators addressed a press conference. Rejecting the claim that the election process was dubious, Khokhar said that the Rawalpindi results were withheld due to complaints, but the Islamabad elections were held according to the federation’s rules.

The PHF president said that even though they didn’t manage to give extraordinary results in their first 30-month tenure “the signs are encouraging and the national hockey team is giving improved performances — just like we all witnessed at the Commonwealth Games, where the Green Shirts remained undefeated."

Khokhar clarified that the Rs 5 million reward announced by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi during a recent ceremony is purely for players and not for the federation.

“Players are showing resilience and federation will take every possible step to provide them the best facilities, jobs and international exposure,” Khokhar said.

When asked about Pakistan Hockey League and when the proposed league will finally start, Brig Khokhar replied that the government had given the PHF its No-Objection Certificate, and that arrangements were almost completed.

“However, due to the hectic international calendar, the league could not take place within 2018,” Khokhar said while adding that not only will the PHL be staged soon, it will also be a permanent feature on the international roster.

When asked about the targets set for their second tenure in light of the fact that the targets of their first were not fully accomplished, Khokhar said that his team did manage to accomplish some of their goals.

“Like I said, we faced a lot of problems in the past and barely had any players. But now that we have appointed a foreign coach, he has managed to turn things around in the short time that he has been here for, and that too with almost the same players.” Khokhar said.

We now have three sets of players — the seniors, juniors and youth — and have given free hand to coach and also appointed foreign trainer to help our players. The target we have set is to win the Asian Games.”

“We are hoping to win a gold medal, which will not only boost the confidence of the players but also help Green Shirts directly qualify for the next Olympics.”

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