Shahnaz Sheikh, former national team of Olympics and coach, warned the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) of a withdrawal from the first Hockey Pro League 2019, as this can have serious consequences for hockey.
“The league’s schedule and venues have been announced, and if Pakistan leaves the tournament at the time, the formation of an entire tournament would be disrupted, and that would give the world a very false message,” he told APP.
Nine teams will compete in the league, a qualifying event for the 2020 Olympics. The six-month round-robin tournament, with home and away matches, will start this month and end in June, with the four best teams in the Wagener Stadium in the Dutch Amstelveen come to the final.
The number 12 of the World Cup Pakistan is expected to be played at the beginning of the month in the first phase of the league. The match will start on the 2nd of February in Buenos Aires against the number four Argentinean national team in Buenos Aires. However, according to some media reports, the PHF is considering withdrawing from the event because of the fund crisis
Shahnaz said that the association, which had little money, would have thought before announcing its decision to attend the event, as it required a huge sum to attend. “At least 300 million rupees will be required for the event, as each game will cost about 30 million rupees.
Did the PHF not think before sending FIH approval to send the national team to the league? It will now be naïve to say that you can not send the team because you do not have the money. The topic should have been discussed before announcing participation in the event on the PHF board, “he said.
Shahnaz said he did not blame a single person for making such a strange decision. “I believe the entire PHF body is responsible for the thoughtless attitude. I can not understand on what basis the decision to join the league was taken.
“First, you have no money to attend the event. Second, prepare a new outfit and believe it will beat the best teams in the world to qualify for the Olympics. “
He said that India had decided not to compete, although the association had sufficient resources and a better side. “They (India) decided to stay away from the event as they assessed the chances of qualifying for the Olympics higher by participating in the Hockey Series, where they will play lower ranked teams,” he said ,
Shahnaz called on the government to provide the necessary funds for the participation of the Pakistani team in the league before the current PHF body was dissolved. “This federation did not ask the government when it decided to end the event.
I will ask the government to appoint a new management that should live up to the commitment to join the league, as this is a matter of respect for the country, “he added.
Worldwide, more than 20 venues in eleven countries have been selected to ensure that fans around the world can experience world-class hockey. The planned teams include Pakistan, Australia, Argentina, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, England, Spain and New Zealand.