Khokhar stays defiant after being re-elected as PHF president

Published August 20, 2022
Retired Brig Khalid Sajjad Khokhar. — Photo courtesy: PHF website
Retired Brig Khalid Sajjad Khokhar. — Photo courtesy: PHF website

KARACHI: In a head-on with the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), the country’s governing body for sports, incumbent Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) president retired Brig Khalid Sajjad Khokhar was re-elected unopposed for another four-year term in the elections held here at a local hotel on Friday.

PHF’s acting secretary Syed Haider Hussain was elected as secretary.

According to a PHF press release, the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) was represented by Ahmed Ali Rajput while Shahid Ali attended on behalf of the Sindh Sports Board (SSB).

The elections were held under the supervision of PHF’s chief election commissioner Chaudhry Mohammad Riaz.

Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) that started 45-minutes behind schedule, Khokhar refused to take the blame for the deterioration of country’s hockey by answering in negative when asked whether would it have been wise had he stepped down by accepting the greenshirts’ continuous failures in global-level competitions.

To a question pertaining to the ongoing tug-of-war between the PHF and the PSB, he said he has abided by the PHF constitution.

He attributed Pakistan team’s non-participation in the Pro-League in 2019 to paucity of funds which resulted in the country’s relegation in the FIH world rankings. “The funds were already approved but a change of guard of the government halted its release,” he maintained.

He recalled that Pakistan was ranked 12th in world rankings when he took over as PHF chief back in 2015. Presently, Pakistan is ranked 18th.

“Pakistan hockey team is a well-knit side and will rise again in a year’s time,” he remarked.

In response to a question about the accountability of certain officials regarding financial irregularities during the last seven years, Khokhar said he has carried out an inquiry against former secretary Shahbaz Ahmed and will soon submit it to the FIA.

He disclosed about having arranged Rs24 million from his own resources to keep the ball rolling besides meeting his travelling expenses from his personal pocket.

The PHF president said he will bring in former players having no vested interests to the fore for the betterment of the game.

He termed extension of the lease of the Abdul Sattar Edhi Hockey Stadium and allocation of Rs1500 million for its renovation as a major breakthrough. The first tranche of Rs450 million is expected to be released soon.

It is pertinent to mention that the 30-year lease of the stadium will expire next year.

Following are the PHF office-bearers:

Retired Brig Khalid Sajjad Khokhar (president); Saeed Khan, retired Maj Gen. Tariq Haleem Suri, Amjad Satti and Syeda Shehla Raza (vice-presidents); Syed Haider Hussain (secretary); Syed Zahir Shah (joint secretary); Shahid Pervaiz Bhindara (treasurer); Tanzeela Amir Cheema (women’s representative)

Women’s wing: Syeda Shehla Raza (chairperson), Sana Jamali (vice-chairperson), Tanzeela Amir Cheema (secretary)

Published in Dawn, August 20th, 2022

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