ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) President Brig (R) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar has rubbished claims made by few quarters that Pakistan hockey team’s series with Poland is called off, saying a few individuals know nothing but want to create negativity.

Talking to The Nation, Brig said: “The matter of the fact is that Poland has their own issues and that’s why they requested the PHF to reschedule the dates. The series will take place this year and we are just waiting for Poland to confirm the dates suitable to them.”

Khokhar said the main threat, which was looming on PHF is the FIH ban. “We have written letters and I personally contacted the FIH and AHF chief executives and pleaded Pakistan’s case. I am grateful to FIH that they not only take our response very seriously, but also put it in the agenda of next FIH Board meeting. Our case was very technical and we had to handle it with care and responsibility, as future of Pakistan hockey depends on FIH course of action.

“They forwarded our case to the disciplinary committee, which meeting to be held next month. I am hopeful that Pakistan will escape ban. I informed them in detail the real issues being faced by the PHF. Pakistan had a great track record and being former champions, the international body duly regarded our services and promised to take Pakistan case positively,” he added.

The PHF chief said that the successful conduct of Pakistan Super League matches in Pakistan has given Pakistan hockey a new ray of hope. “It will help the PHF to get international tournaments as our forces have shown the world that we are capable of hosting international events in a befitting manner. I am optimistic that now PM Imran Khan will spare time and invite the PHF for a much-anticipated meeting.

“We need around Rs 200 million annual grant to run the affairs of the federation in a better way. The PHF has to conduct tournaments, participation in international tournaments and hire top class coaches. If the government has any doubts about misuse of funds, they should keep the cash and fulfill the federation’s requirements.

“We want to start the dream project of Pakistan Super Hockey League (PSHL) this year, as international players will be available by the end of this year. We want to conduct PSHL in Karachi, Lahore and other cities as well, but off course, it depends on budget and security clearance. It will give our players not only financial cover but also help them gain exposure while playing alongside the best in the business,” he added.

Khokhar announced that the PHF has decided to pay tribute to legendry Noor Khan and named after the upcoming national premier tournament him as 65th late Air Marshal  Muhammad Nur Khan Departmental National Hockey Championship 2019, which is allocated to Karachi Hockey Association (KHA) and it will be played at Abdul Sattar Edhi Hockey Stadium, Karachi from April 20 to May 2.

“I have requested Pakistan Air Force (PAF) to become the partners and hopefully, they will sponsor the mega championship. We have decided to give chances to the youngster in the event and included developing squads from the provinces. The best youngsters from every province will be selected through trials to represent the emerging squads,” Khokhar concluded.