Assistant coach Adnan Zakir quits Pakistan junior hockey team

He left the team’s camp in Lahore on Thursday

May 18, 2023
Adnan Zakir during a training session — Evo Hockey

LAHORE: Assistant coach Adnan Zakir has quit the Pakistan junior team after reservations over coaching methods, selection criteria and differences with the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF).

Zakir left the team’s camp in Lahore on Thursday and is on his way back to England.

“It was difficult to work with the current setup. Compromising is not part of my nature and somebody had to set an example. If the PHF continues to operate like this, we will never see any improvement in our hockey,” said Zakir.

“I voluntarily came to Pakistan and even paid for my ticket. I had left before the trials as well but was called back from the airport,” he added.

Zakir made 169 appearances for Pakistan between 2001 and 2006. He clinched a silver, 2006 Commonwealth Games, and two bronze medals, 2004 Champions Trophy and 2005 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, during his career.

Zakir has also previously worked with the Egyptian Hockey Federation (EHF) and Azerbaijan Hockey Federation (AHF).

It must be noted that the PHF is unlikely to get any financial or administrative support from the government and the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) following its refusal to cooperate with the four-member committee formed to judge its performance and finalise a roadmap to free and fair elections of the federation.

The PHF has recently approached the PSB to issue the NOC and necessary financial assistance to participate in the Junior Asia Cup starting in Oman from May 23. It is, however, unlikely that the PSB or Ministry for IPC would come forward and help out the federation following its recent refusal to cooperate with the government.

“We have sent several letters to the PHF asking them to cooperate with the prime minister’s formed committee in an effort to resolve the pending issues confronting the game. Before the committee’s meeting on May 9, the PSB sent letters to de-notified PHF to furnish all the details on its recent performance and the expenditures on the game-related activities nationally and internationally,” a PSB official said.

“The PHF refused to share any details about its activities or performance, saying that since the federation has been already de-affiliated, how the government could make it answerable,” the official added.

Sohail Imran is a senior reporter for Geo News.