Thursday, April 4, 2013

PHF to host Malaysia soon ?

This is interesting news coming out from Pakistan. maybe someone in the Malaysian hockey Confederation or the national team set-up might want to have something to say.

Last I heard was in January 2012 when Pakistan invited Malaysia and the then coach Tai Beng Hai was not keen, due to security reasons.

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) president Qasim Zia has revealed that Pakistan would soon host Malaysia as they were in close contact with Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) and things were heading towards right direction. In an exclusive interview with The Nation, Qasim said on Wednesday: “Hopefully, the bilateral hockey series with Malaysia will be held soon as possible. We are also in close contact with other federations, but still the security concerns are holdin international teams from visiting Pakistan.”  He said their main task was the World Cup 2014 and the team would leave for Malaysia to take part in the World Cup qualifiers and Asia Cup while Pakistan would also participate in the Junior Hockey World Cup in Delhi. To a query about Pakistan-India bilateral hockey series, Qasim replied: “As far as the relations between both the federations are concerned, we are enjoying very cordial ties. It is the Indian government, which is the main hurdle in restoration of bilateral series.” “We will not play any direct series with them until and unless they fulfil the promises, but as the members of the FIH, we have to honour our commitments and have to play against them in international events, whether in India or somewhere else,” he added. He said the federation had given chance to young players in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup to groom them at international level by resting key players Shakeel Abbasi, Rashid, Rizwan Senior, Waseem and Tauseeq. “I am quite satisfied with the juniors’ performance in the event.” He said Sohail Abbas was given too many chances but the age factor had taken its toll. “Imran and Atiq are doing fine job in short corners department and Tauseeq is also a very good addition.” “The main reason behind why juniors are not playing outstanding hockey is the fact that the international hockey has not been played in the country for the last few years. Though juniors are being given chances at national and international events yet we can't put too many young players in international events. But gradually the junior players will be provided chances to showcase their skills at international level,” the PHF chief said. When this scribe asked Qasim why the federation was not taking past legends on board and not listening to their genuine demands, he replied: “Soon after taking the charge as a PHF chief, I invited all the past greats and they were very much on board. They have same passion and affection for hockey, which we have and I also wrote them letters asking them to come and guide us how to regain lost glory of hockey. But I have not received any reply from them in this regard. My doors are always open for them. Taking this opportunity through this interview, I request all the hockey legends to come and discuss with us the ways and means to improve the standard of hockey. It will not only beneficial for hockey players and federation but also for the country to climb back to the same heights which we were once,” he added. “I am open to healthy criticism as I am very much open to suggestions. The hockey greats must come up with solid plans, ways and means, how to improve hockey and it is my promise I will do my best to implement all those suggestions in true letter and spirit,” Qasim concluded.