ISLAMABAD  -  Olympian Nasir Ali lambasted former Olympians for criticising the current PHF management for nothing and despite getting great perks and privileges from the federation.

Talking to The Nation, Nasir said: “The former Olympians first enjoyed perks and privileges with current PHF management and when they were sacked after failing to achieve their targets, they have started raising fingers at the PHF President Brig (R) Khokhar and Secretary Shahbaz Senior.”

Nasir, who had played two World Cups, two Olympics and won One World Cup and one Olympics gold for Pakistan, said: “I have honour of working with great presidents like Noor Khan, Arif Ali Abbasi and Waqar Azeem, but I can claim that Brig (R) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar has been working on same patterns and he is highly helpful and humble and always available to players and former greats to assist them in every matter.”

He said it is unjustified and unacceptable stance made by those Olympians, who were with the present set up for last three years and were given two years to deliver, but they failed and now instead of accepting their failures and helping the federation in implementing their plans, they, all of a sudden, started launching campaign against the PHF top brass, which I feel is unjust and Pakistan hockey can’t afford it.

“Even when Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali was Prime Minister and PHF President, he couldn’t remain successful in convincing departments to start hockey teams and provide jobs to the players, but in his short stint, Brig Khokhar has managed to start six departmental teams, which created jobs for hockey players. What else players want from the president, who is sincere to them as well as Pakistan hockey and wants to help it regain lost glory,” he added.

Nasir said he could confirm one thing with full responsibility that this is the best available hockey talent in the country at the present and no one can dare to point finger at the federation that they have deprived genuine talent of representing national teams. “As far as improvement in Pakistan hockey is concerned, I can see the teams are gradually improving.

“In the recent past, Pakistan team was conceding a great number of goals in international events and could score less than handful, but now in the last few months, it has scored a number of goals and conceded very less. They were highly unfortunate to lose to Japan and then India in the Asian Games hockey, otherwise, they were playing very well in that mega event,” he added.

The former Olympian said now the Asian Champions Trophy is just round the corner. “For how long the PHF chief will arrange funds through his own sources. I have never seen a person like Brig Khokhar, who arranged funds to clear players and management dues and also spent from his own pocket. Off course, he will get that money back, but how many have done this earlier, I think not a single one.

“It is my appeal to Prime Minister Imran Khan to immediately order release of PHF grant, as soon after Asian Champions Trophy in Oman, Pakistan team has to embark on the World Cup in India. Without funds, how can the PHF conduct camps, clear dues and prepare players for the mega event. I urge government to clear the air and invite Brig Khokhar, Shahbaz Senior and all those Olympians who are sincere to national game and want to help it regain its past glory,” Nasir concluded.