ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) on Tuesday announced to resume hockey activities in the country by holding a series of events within next few months.
“International competitive hockey will be back with the start of FIH Pro League between Germany and Belgium in September. We’ve also received letters from International Hockey Federation (FIH) and Asian Hockey Federation. They also want us to restart our activities”.
“We are trying to start Hockey5s League by the end of August so that doors of our domestic hockey are opened,” Secretary PHF Asif Bajwa said in a video message.
“We are also planning to hold the first round of national tray championship in September-October. Afterward, we’ll hold [another] national championship,” he added.
He said that these events would be held while following standard operating procedures (SOPs). He said he had talked to PHF president Brig (retired) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, national head coach Khawaja Junaid and junior team coach Danish Kaleem and discussed the plans to hold the events.
According to Bajwa the FIH was concentrating on Hockey5s, adding that this format would be crucial for hockey’s future in Pakistan.
“If we want to revive the national game, then we’ll have to focus on this format in the school hockey and youth hockey as it can play a major role to achieve that target.”
He said the FIH had also announced Hockey5s World Cup in 2023, which might be pushed to 2024 due to coronavirus pandemic. “But we’ve started our preparations for that event.
“The FIH has started coaching for that [Hockey5s] format. And we’ve also involved our coaches in these courses as we want to fully introduce this format in Pakistan.”
Bajwa expressed the hope that like T20 cricket, Hockey5s would provide a lot of entertainment to fans. “This format will give a new direction to hockey,” he reckoned.
He said that in order to mitigate players’ financial problems during the prevailing situation, the PHF President had announced to give pandemic allowance to 30 hockey players on the recommendations of hockey coaches.
“Both senior and junior players are included in the list for that allowance. Each player will get 30,000 rupees, and the amount will be directly transferred to their accounts.”
He said although the federation was facing financial hardships, it would keep on working for the welfare of players.