LAHORE: The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has invited the top officials of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) to witness the hockey competition in Rio Olympics, which they have declined.
Shahbaz Ahmad Senior talked to APP, “FIH sent an official invitation to the PHF president Brigadier (retired) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar and me to watch the hockey competition of the Rio Olympics as FIH guests [but we refused].”
PHF refused the generous offer of FIH because Pakistan couldn’t qualify for the Olympics, “It is quite unfortunate that our team could not qualify for the Olympics first time in the history of the game and without our team’s participation it is not appropriate to attend such a grand event,” said Shahbaz.
Former Pakistan Olympian hailed the gesture of FIH of inviting him and the president of PHF, “Keeping in view our current low world ranking and failure to qualify for the Olympics we have re-launched sincere efforts to lift the game out of present gloom,” he said.
He further highlighted that the federation is looking to improve the national hockey team and is hoping that they will be able put up a good show at the Asian games and will qualify for the Olympics 2020 in Tokyo.
He revealed that the board is paying special attention on grooming young talent in the country and the federation is striving to prepare a junior national side that can qualify for the Junior World Cup, it can inspire senior players for decent performance as well.