PHF imposes life ban on Khawaja Junaid

PHF Inquiry Committee found him responsible for Asia Cup debacle

January 31, 2023
Junaid was the Pakistan team manager during the Asia Cup — PHF

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has imposed life ban on Olympian and former manager Khawaja Junaid.

The decision was taken by the PHF Inquiry Committee on Tuesday over the blunder of fielding 12 players during an Asia Cup match against Japan last year.

Pakistan failed to qualify for the super four of the Asia Cup, where Junaid was the manager of the national side, which meant that they were not able to qualify for the World Cup.

The Green Shirts lost an important match against Japan during the Asia Cup after one of their goals was disallowed for having 12 players on the field instead of 11.

PHF Legal Advisor Mian Ali Ashfaq also opened up about the verdict of the committee.

“Pakistan faced a lot of embarrassment due to Khawaja Junaid. Due to his misconduct, Pakistan failed to qualify for the World Cup,” said Ashfaq.

“The decision to ban him has been taken in line with FIH rules,” he added.

He also stated that Junaid didn’t appear before the committee to present his point of view.

“Committee had called Junaid to appear before the committee but he didn’t oblige,” he said. “The decision to ban him has also been approved by PHF president.”

Meanwhile, PHF Secretary Haider Hussain said that Junaid had told him over WhatsApp that “he was not responsible for the debacle”.

However, Hussain added that, according to FIH rules, this responsibility lies with the manager.

Despite Pakistan’s rich history in hockey, winning multiple Olympic Gold Medals and World Cup titles, the situation of the game in Pakistan has gone from bad to worse over the last couple of decades.

Pakistan failed to qualify for back-to-back Olympic Games, 2016 and 2022, while also missing out on the 2023 World Cup. They also faced the humiliation of missing a World Cup for the first time in their history back in 2014.

Sohail Imran is a senior reporter for Geo News.