Former Olympian and coach national team Shahnaz Sheikh Thursday has warned Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) not to even think of withdrawing from inaugural 2019 Hockey Pro League as it can have serious consequences for Pakistan Hockey.
“The schedule and venues for the League have been announced and if Pakistan pulls out of the event at this stage, then the formation of entire tournament would be disturbed, and this would convey a very wrong message to the world,” he said.
Shahnaz said that the cash-strapped federation should have thought before announcing its decision to feature in the event as a huge amount was required for participation in that.
“At least 300 million rupees are needed to feature in the event as its every match will cost around Rs 30 million.
“Did the PHF not think before conveying its consent to the FIH for sending the national team for the League? It will be naïve now to say that you can’t send the team as you don’t have the money. The issue should have been deliberated upon in the PHF executive board before announcing to participate in the event,” he said.
“I believe the entire PHF body is responsible for the thoughtless attitude. I’m unable to understand on what basis the decision was taken to participate in the League.
“Firstly, you don’t have the money for participation in the event. Secondly, you are preparing a new outfit and you believe it is going to beat world’s top teams to qualify for the Olympics.”
“I will request the government to appoint a new management, which should honour the commitment for participation in the League as it is a matter of respect of the country,” he added.
World number 12 Pakistan are scheduled to play their first phase matches of the League early next month, starting with the fixture against world number four Argentina in Buenos Aires on February 2.