Shahbaz named PHF secretary as Rana resigns

Source:  Dawn.com Published in Sports on Thursday, September 3, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistan captain Shahbaz Ahmed Senior was named the new Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary following the resignation of Rana Mujahid on Wednesday.

Rana announced his resignation at a news conference here which was also attended by Shahbaz, newly-elected PHF president Brig (retd) Sajjad Khokhar and Ejaz Chaudhry, the secretary of the ministry for Inter-provincial coordination.

The resignation was the latest in the PHF shake-up which has followed after the national team failed miserably at the World Hockey League Semi-finals in Belgium in July which resulted in Pakistan missing out on next year’s Olympics.

“I have tendered my resignation willingly and without any pressure,” Rana told reporters. “I think it’s time for me to say goodbye.”

Rana becomes the third PHF official to submit his resignation since the Olympic debacle, following in the footsteps of president Akhtar Rasool and head-coach Shahnaz Sheikh.

He said that he had tried his best to improve Pakistan hockey.

“During my tenure as Secretary I faced a lot criticism with decency and courage,” he said. “I appeal to all those Olympians who have been opposing us to allow the new PHF team to work for the betterment of national game.”

The IPC secretary appreciated Rana’s decision, saying he had set the standard for the others to follow.

“His decision to resign has raised his credentials,” said Ejaz. “He has shown others how to serve the game in real spirit. I appreciate that he worked for Pakistan hockey’s uplift in turbulent times. He is our asset and we highly respect him.”

Khokhar echoed Ejaz’s view, saying he was pleased Rana “didn’t create any hurdles but resigned amicably that shows his greatness.”

The PHF chief also praised Shahbaz for being a “loyal and sincere person who could help bring back Pakistan hockey’s lost glory.”

‘BACK ON TRACK’

Shahbaz, meanwhile, said he will draw on all his experience — both as the country’s longest serving captain and country head of PIA in Saudi Arabia — to put Pakistan hockey back on track.

“I’m sure with the help and coordination of all the stakeholders, I would be in a position to make the difference,” he said. “I don’t have a magic wand to turn things around overnight but I’ll do my best to reorganise things and ensure transparency.”

Khokhar also informed about the key decisions taken by him including the appointment of Olympian Hasan Sardar as his advisor and Mohammad Ikhlaq Usmani as the treasurer.

Rasheed Junior, meanwhile, has been named as the new chief selector with Saeed Khan, Farhat Khan, Shahbaz Junior and Waseem Feroz named as selection committee members.

Tahir Zaman has been named as the head coach of the junior hockey team with Zeeshan Ashraf and Mohammad Irfan being his assistants.

“The operational and administrative set-ups are being separated to ensure smooth working and changes would also be made to the PHF’s executive board,” Khokhar added.

The PHF chief said that he would maximize the involvement of former players in hockey affairs to benefit from their expertise.

“We will also be concentrating on the hockey nurseries across the country so that grooming of budding players can be done in an effective manner,” he said.

Khokhar also announced that the camp for the junior team for the Johar Baru Invitational Hockey Tournament will get under way from September 4.

The month-long camp will be staged at the PSB vicinity. Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium and Army sports board turf will be used for training while the players will reside at the PSB hostel.


Author Information