LAHORE: Former secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation retired Col Mudassar Asghar has urged the government and the PHF to help out former Olympian Naveed Alam, who has been diagnosed with blood cancer recently.

“Naveed was a member of Pakistan’s 1994 World Cup winning team; he was a fighter and fine full-back,” former Olympian Mudassar told Dawn on Thursday.

“At this stage, Naveed needs financial and moral help from the government and the PHF and from other hockey stakeholders as anyone can face these kinds of hardship in life,” Mudassar further said.

He said it was unfortunate that there was no national policy, which could provide timely relief to sportspersons facing life-threatening medical issues.

“Many leading sports persons get due support neither from the government nor from their federations in such testing times,” Mudassar lamented. “Unfortun­ately, the PHF [currently] is also in financial crisis.

“However, the federation at least must do something within its limited resources to show solidarity with Naveed, while ignoring all its disputes with him, if any.”

Meanwhile, Mudassar, who is also going through an operation on Monday, said all the ex-Olympians and international players should stand together to fight for all needy players noting Pakistan hockey was experiencing decline every day.

“If the similar situation [with the players in need] continues, no one in Pakistan would come forward to play hockey in future.”

Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2021

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