LAHORE: Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board Ehsan Mani on Thursday expressed board’s inability to bail out the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) from the ongoing financial crisis, newly appointed hockey team head coach Tauqir Dar revealed on Thursday.
Mani’s refusal was due to an audit objection against a similar grant issued to PHF in 2000 by the PCB which still remains outstanding.
However, Tauqir added that Mani assured him that in his capacity as the head of the prime minister’s task force for sports, he will ask the government to help the struggling national hockey body.
It is feared that the Pakistan hockey team will not be able to feature in the this month’s World Cup, set to be held in India, due to financial issues.
The PHF has failed to pay the players their allowances for the recently concluded Asian Champions Trophy and also does not have enough in the kitty to cover travel, accommodation and training expenses of the team at the all-important event.
Tauqir said he requested Mani to ask the government to pay the required expenses directly and not necessarily through the PHF and that the federation will have no objection to that.
PCB not to bail out PHF from current financial crisis
The PHF had also requested the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) as well as written to the prime minister’s secretariat for immediate release of a Rs 82million grant but have not received any response from either.
The federation is also facing criticism from some former Olympians for not properly using the massive grants totalling to Rs 800million it had received from the government in the last four years.
Meanwhile, as the national side prepared for the World Cup in a training camp, the PHF brought in popular musicians to ‘motivate’ the players.
Pop star Ali Zafar, Waris Baig, popular Punjabi singer Malkoo and singer Nirmal Roy visited the camp on Thursday.
The stars spoke separately to the players and lamented that Pakistan’s national game is not being given the patronage and recognition it deserves and that even Pakistan’s participation in the World Cup is in doubt due to insufficient funds.
The showbiz luminaries spoke words of encouragement for the players and expressed hope that despite all the odds, Pakistan team will do well at the World Cup.
Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2018