KARACHI Top officials of Pakistan hockey on Friday slapped a life ban on Olympians Naveed Alam and Mansoor Ahmad for 'wrongly' levelling human trafficking allegations against secretary Asif Bajwa with Naveed vowing to move court against the decision.
The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) president Qasim Zia announced the decision after the Executive Board meeting in what he claimed was unanimous decision.
'The Executive Board has decided to impose a life ban on Naveed Alam and Mansoor Ahmad for wrongly accusing secretary of human trafficking. They have maligned the PHF because of which they have been barred,' the PHF president told a news conference.
He said Naveed had been involved in financial irregularities and owed Rs2.5 million to the PHF besides providing 'forged receipts and invoices' for the European tour when he was the Pakistan coach.
'The receipts he (Naveed) has submitted are forged. When we checked with the hotel and other people in Europe, we found the difference of amount. We are also consulting lawyers in this regard,' he said.
Naveed rubbished the allegations, saying Asif had been trying to hoodwink the nation and the media by providing 'photocopied and tampered' documents.
'I will again say that it is PHF which owes me Rs6.4million and about 9,000 euros. The amount in Pak rupee is what I had spent on activity when I was Punjab Hockey Association secretary and didn't receive it from the PHF. I want my 9,000 euros back since the 64,000 euros for European tour were not enough and I had spent 72,000 euros because of various extra expenditures.
'The amount which I submitted to the PHF on my return was approved by the then PHF president (Zafarullah) Jamali. I must say that Bajwa should come with original documents, not tampered copies. I have not been given an explanation and there is no proof. It was decision by Executive Board having Bajwa's cronies. I will now take the PHF and Bajwa to court,' Naveed told Dawn.com.
Naveed claimed since he had not received the outstanding dues from the PHF, he had become a bank defaulter. The Olympian said he wanted an independent probe committee to grill him and that his innocence will be proved.
Naveed had accused Asif of sending people to Italy, while Mansoor charged the secretary with misusing his authority by applying for German visas for his family and an unknown person posing him as a media person.
According to May 2, 2009 Dawn.com report, Asif applied for German visas for his wife Sana Asif and son Asad Ullah Bajwa along with three other persons. The visas were sought for four-nation Hamburg Masters hockey tournament from Oct 3 to 5 in 2008.
Identity of one of the three persons, Malik Ahtisham Zahid, could not be established as a journalist.
The documents submitted by Asif were either ambiguous or contradictory. The three persons were mentioned as 'children', journalists and 'PHF officials' by Asif in different documents or communication.
'Taking wife and children along on foreign tours is not wrong and I don't think anybody would leave his wife while on a foreign tour,' Qasim said but didn't elaborate if it is ethical to use PHF letterhead to seek visas for family.
The National Assembly's Standing Committee on Sports has been investigating the human trafficking charges.
Asked why Mansoor was hired as a PHF academy coordinator despite his past plagued by a jail conviction for stealing silver and other controversies, the PHF president conceded 'we hired him on humanitarian grounds as didn't have a job, but it was our mistake as some people never learn.'
About the reason why Islahuddin Siddiqui had been retained as Executive Board member, although he was not thought to be good enough to be nominated for International Hockey Federation (FIH) Rules Board by the PHF, Asif said he had quit as chief selector on his own.
'We would have taken our own decision then. The situation would have been different,' Qasim said when asked what would have happened had Islah opted to continue. However, the fact is that after Beijing Olympics PHF president Jamali had already mentioned he would install new selection committee a day before Islah 'resigned'.
'Kamran was not sacked. In fact, his contract was only till Asia Cup. He would be given some other assignment,' Asif said when asked Kamran Ashraf was removed as assistant coach after Pakistan finished second at Asia Cup earlier this year while Shahid Ali Khan was retained although he was also hired till the cup.
Kamran was removed after he went to at the launching ceremony of the academy in Gojra established by former Pakistan coach Tahir Zaman - a rival of Asif.
Meanwhile, Pakistan player Waqas Akbar had been banned for a month besides Rs25,000 fine for playing in the French league without PHF's clearance, a probe committee has been formed to investigate the allegations of changing the date of birth by Pakistan women's team player Ayesha Bashir.