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One-year bans likely for ‘rebel’ hockey players

May 17, 2012

Former stars including Shakeel Abbas, Rehan Butt , Imran Warsi and Zeeshan Ashraf could be out of Pakistan's Olympic squad. – File photo by AFP
Former stars including Shakeel Abbas, Rehan Butt , Imran Warsi and Zeeshan Ashraf could be out of Pakistan's Olympic squad. – File photo by AFP

KARACHI: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) indicated, on Thursday, that it may hand one-year bans to the eight players involved in World Series Hockey (WSH).

PHF has said that all the players who signed the board’s contract after March 31, 2012 could be given a one-year ban for opting for the rebel league, DawnNews reported.

Senior members of the Pakistan hockey team, including Rehan Butt, Zeeshan Ashraf and Shakeel Abbasi, among others, participated in the Indian rebel league, which was not approved by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

In a move to show its displeasure with their participation, PHF issued show-cause notices to the eight players last month to appear before a disciplinary committee.

In last week’s hearing, the players defended their move to join the league, saying that the PHF did not give any clear instructions to the players.

Apart from Abbasi, Ashraf and Butt, former captain Imran Warsi, Waseem Ahmed, Tariq Aziz, Adnan Maqsood and Mudassar Ali Khan also participated in WSH, which was played between March and April.

The disciplinary committee will submit its report to the federation next week.

If, indeed, the bans are imposed, the players could miss out on an Olympic berth.