RAWALPINDI The 45th Congress Committee of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) which met on Monday unanimously elected Qasim Zia as the 22nd president of the federation besides approving a record budget of Rs 373.3 million.
Speaking to the media, Qasim, a former PPP Punjab President and presently an MPA in Punjab Assembly, said after the committee meeting that being a former hockey player he would give more time to the national game than to politics.
We have set targets to achieve as to improve our Asian and global ranking in world hockey and our main target is the Asian Games and then the 2012 Olympics the newly elected president said while highlighting his priorities.
He asserted that they would work more on hockey academies so as to get the maximum talent from the grass root level.
About the players who had opted to play with foreign clubs Qasim said national hockey players would be allowed to play foreign leagues but they are bound to play five international tournaments — World Cup, Olympics, Champions Trophy, Asian Games and Asia Cup”.
To a question that foreign teams are reluctant to visit Pakistan due to security concerns, he said “ we will try to improve the image of the country while playing abroad and at home with foreign teams but this will require mutual understanding with the foreign teams”.
Qasim added that the game of hockey had changed a lot technically so the players had to work more on modern lines and for this we may look for expertise from the former national players and also from abroad.
Former hockey players will also be roped in an advisory capacity to help the PHF in various departments the former Olympian concluded.
Meanwhile, Asif Bajwa, Secretary PHF, said grants for all the affiliated units had been increased to 100 per cent and was linked to performance.
He said We have increased the grants from Rs 0.5 million to 1 million but the affiliated provincial units and women wing would have to show maximum activity to avail the grant.
Bajwa said the house had approved the auditors for the next year and the audited report, budget for the year 2009-10, revival of executive board and forecast of events for 2009-10.