FIH withdraws Olympic qualifiers hosting rights from Pakistan

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Tuesday withdrew hosting rights of the Olympic Qualifiers from Pakistan, slated to be held next January.

The FIH decision came as a result of the infighting between the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and the state-owned Pakistan Sports Board (PSB).

“The FIH, while taking away our hosting rights, made it clear it was convinced that the sports board and government were not willing to cooperate with the PHF in the successful hosting of the event,” said an inside in the PHF.

The decision has come as a big blow to Pakistan hockey, which had got the rights to host an international event after more than a decade.

The PHF had picked Lahore as the venue to host the event.

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However, recent attempts by the PSB to interfere in affairs of the PHF and bring in its preferred officials into the federation have led to chaos.

Several former Olympians, encouraged by the government’s ministry of inter provincial coordination and PSB, have been trying to stage a coup in the PHF, while trying to get a vote of no confidence passed against the sitting president Brigadier Khalid Sajjad Khokar and secretary Haider Hussain.

The Olympians include Asif Bajwa, Shahbaz Ahmed and Rana Mujahid, who served as secretaries in recent times, with two of them under Khokar.

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