ISLAMABAD: An investigations committee formed by the Punjab Sports Minister Jahangir Khanzada to look into the harassment allegations levelled by women’s national hockey team former goalkeeper, Syeda Sadia against the team’s head coach, Saeed Khan, has declared the former’s claims “false and unfounded”.
According to the report submitted to the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) by the five-member committee, Sadia accused Khan of harassment in lieu of her deselection from the team.
The report recommends that Sadia is banned from playing hockey on both domestic and national level for a year on charges of violating discipline by hurling “baseless allegations”.
The report also recommends that the PHF impose a year-long ban on Iqra Javed, a player of the women’s national hockey team and reportedly an eyewitness who was dropped from the team for supporting Sadia’s claims publicly.
The committee comprised of Rashid Butt, PHF’s Women’s Wing Secretary Tanzeela Amir Cheema, Rahat Khan, Chand Parveen and team manager Colonel Ahmad Nawaz.
Tanzeela Amir Cheema’s inclusion in the committee is questionable given her dismissive and yet obstinate remarks soon after the story had broken, she had said there was “absolutely no need” for an inquiry into the matter.
“Why will we take action if someone is making false allegations?” she had said.
Sadia while speaking to the media said that the investigation report was a “pack of lies”.
“We [Iqra and Sadia] presented ourselves in front of the inquiry committee two to three times, I told them everything that happened with me and they came to this [false] conclusion,” she said.
“I was asked to sign a document that said that I had accused the coach of harassment because I was upset over not being selected when I went to record my statement in front of the committee the first time,” she claimed.
“I asked them if they thought I had lost my mind,” she added.
On October 9th, Syeda Sadia had accused Saeed Khan of verbal and physical abuse and reported the matter to Jahangir Khanzada in a letter and had requested action against Saeed Khan.
She had also alleged that a few days prior to the assault, Khan had given her his phone number and asked her to call him “at night”.
In response, Khanzada had asked Sports Director-General Amir Jan to investigate and submit a report within 10 days.