LAHORE – Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) on Monday approved Rs 280 million deficit budget and allocated a budget of Rs 500 million for next year in its general council meeting which was headed by its chief Qasim Zia here at the National Hockey Stadium.

The PHF chief approved the previous year’s expenses and decisions of the federation in the general counsel meeting and also approved with consensus the audit of previous year’s expenditures.  Talking to 49th congress, Qasim said: “Pakistan hockey has now started progressing gradually and the proof of which is great performances by our team in Champions Trophy Hockey and Asian Champions Trophy. And by the grace of Allah, the time is not far when we will regain the lost hockey glory which Pakistan had once enjoyed for a long time.”

“The programmes, which we had started four years ago, now have started giving results. I am also very thankful to all the congress members for their full cooperation to Pakistan hockey and the federation at tough times and reviving the game at national and international level. We, as a unit, have not only took steps for the national team but also did a lot to promote and boost our youngsters,” Qasim stated.

He said they had been striving hard to make the PHF an exemplary organisation. He also lauded the steps taken by Punjab government to lay three astro-turfs in Punjab at various venues.

“Punjab government is doing well by laying three astro-turfs at various venues of Punjab cities which will surely help in reviving hockey at grassroot level. I hope they will continue their all-out support to the game in order to revive the game of hockey. The other hockey associations should also talk to their restive provincial governments in order to get support from them which will help them to revive the game at grass root level.”

Meanwhile, the PHF also named the best men senior, junior and women players of the year. Former Pakistan hockey team captain Shakeel Abbasi was named the best player of the year and was handed over ‘Noor Khan Trophy’ with Rs 100,000 cash prize while Rabia Qadir was named as the best women player of the year and M Dilbar the best junior player of the year and were awarded ‘Brig Atif Trophy’ and Rs 50,000 each.  Punjab University Vice Chancellor Dr Kamran Mujahid congratulated Rabia Qadir on her great achievement. Rabia is a student of Punjab University Sports and Physical Sciences and also the captain of Pakistan Wapda hockey team. Wapda’s DG Sports Mian Riffat and hockey team manager Sagheer Ahmad also felicitated Rabia on getting the best women player of the year award.