The Pakistan Hockey Federation believes that its players need to be educated if they are to survive in the game.
The hockey federation’s secretary, Shahbaz Ahmed Sr, told APP that an illiterate person cannot progress in international sports.
He said there should be four to five hockey centres built in the country which must come directly under the federation.
“The youth must then be spotted from grass-root level and trained at these centres where proper education and diet is provided to them in order to groom them according to international standards,” he said.
He said a proper annual budget must be set for the federation so it is able to manage its own affairs.
“We have to plead for grants from the government to participate in national and international championships. If a proper budget is set for the PHF then we can manage the game by ourselves from grass-root level,” he said.
He further said that jobs must also be provided in order to attract the youth towards the game.
“In our time, players had permanent jobs in several departments,” said Ahmed Sr.
Commenting on the team’s dismal performance of green-shirts in Champions Trophy and the bilateral series against Canada, he asked how a team that is currently at the 13th position could possibly have beaten top teams.
“Pakistan is ranked 13th in the International Hockey Federation rankings while Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Netherlands and India are in the top six,” he said.
He said Pakistan’s victory over Argentina was an achievement for the team but it was undermined.
“On the other hand the Pakistan development squad that lost the series to Canada was Pakistan’s junior team playing against the Canadian senior team,” he said
He added that the series between Pakistan and Canada was sponsored by their Canadian counterparts and had nothing to do with the International Hockey Federation rankings.
“Our junior team went to Canada for international exposure so why is it receiving so much criticism?” he asked.