Rashid Mehmood
Inframe : Rashid Mehmood / Photo Credits : Hockey India

PHF bosses are hopeful that they will be able to resolve the financial issues with the help of sponsorship and the federal government.

PHF president Brig (rtd) Khalid Khokhar said that despite meager resources PHF is continuing all hockey activities.

“The training camp of the national team continues in Lahore. The national under-19 championship will be held in Karachi from next week. The preparation of Pakistan Super Hockey League (PSHL) is in full swing,” he added.

“The FIH Pro League is hugely important for Pakistan. We are in the process of forming a young team for that event,” he said. Only three weeks are left before Pakistan take on Olympic champions Argentina on February 2 in the Pro League.

“Due to funds shortage, we haven’t been able to appoint any foreign coach or physical trainer. But we are working to send the national team for the Pro League,” the PHF chief said.

“The Pro League is the only way for us to rise in the world of hockey because it gives us the opportunity to play against the top teams of the world. The PHF is in contact with the federal government as well as corporate sponsors.

“We are in talks with the private sector to get sponsorship,” Khokhar said.

“We have shortlisted 38 players in the training camp. These are young and energetic and are learning fast. Many of them were part of the team that played in Australian domestic junior championship, played against Canada’s senior team and the Chinese team last year. They also played against the World Hockey XI last year. Some of them have remained part of the senior team. So this is the best available talent in the country and we are investing in them to resurrect the national game in the shortest possible time,” the PHF president said.

He said that FIH and AHF were helping Pakistan.

“By participating in FIH Pro League, we’ll get to play 16 international matches in a year against the eight strongest teams. When our newly formed team plays against the mighty Australians, Argentine, Belgians, the Netherlands, the English, it will learn and improve fast,” Khokhar said.

Meanwhile, the national selection committee led by Islahuddin is expected to conduct trials on January 19 and 20 in Lahore.