Wednesday Jan 27, 2021
Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) president Brig (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar on Tuesday sounded optimistic about foreign hockey teams visiting Pakistan and said that all efforts are being made to invite foreign teams to the country for a series of matches and a tournament.
However, the prevailing wait-and-see policy adopted by the body will be fetching no positive results when it comes to regaining lost glory as such the go-slow policy would only make the matter worse as far as the ranking and the country’s image in the world of hockey is concerned.
It has been over a decade now that any leading international or even an Asian team has visited Pakistan for a series of matches, be it friendly or something else. While all other sports events, national and international, are being organised by respective federations and boards, the PHF has yet to make any concrete efforts to lure international outfits to visit Pakistan. So far, what the hockey lovers have got are merely a lot of hollow promises and empty slogans.
The security as well as Covid-19 situation in Pakistan is far better than any other Asian or European countries, yet no progress has been seen when it comes to inviting foreign teams, organise international events and national team’s visits to other countries.
The majority of nations are busy playing against each as they know that such an engagement is meant to increase the standard of their game. The worst-ever ranking, which is at the lowest 17th, may fall even further unless and until leading teams visit Pakistan and Greenshirts go abroad for friendly series to raise a competitive unit for future international events.
When a question was put to PHF president Brig (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar as to why all-out efforts were not being made to get positives out of the ongoing Covid-19 situation, he admitted that the time was ideal to make a move.
“You are right as foreign teams in games of cricket, tennis, and squash have been visiting Pakistan but there had been no real international hockey activities in the country for the last so many years. We have not lost hope and are trying to invite teams for a series of matches and a tournament. For the purpose, we are in touch with the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF). Things were gone tough for international hockey due to the pandemic. In Pakistan, the Covid-19 situation is much better that’s why South Africa team is here and PSL VI is around the corner.”
Khokhar added that hopefully some good news will be coming up in the future.
“I assure you that some good news would come up in the near future as efforts are being made to make the best use of the available time. Leading teams across the world need international outings and we are ready to host them.”
He also admitted that there were no security concerns, which were there in the past.
“There is no security issue at all as the foreign teams as well as players are now feeling at ease to travel to Pakistan for sports engagements. We are confident we will succeed in hosting a team or teams in the near future. You would see international hockey teams visiting Pakistan this year,” the PHF president added.