LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister M Shahbaz Sharif Wednesday announced a special grant of Rs100 million for the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) for revival of hockey and talent hunt of hockey players at lower level.
He made this announcement in a meeting with PHF president Akhtar Rasool while Provincial Minister for Education and Sports Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, Secretary Sports Muhammad Khan Khichi and Director General Sports Usman Anwar were also present during the meeting.
The chief minister said every effort would be made for revival of the national game. He also constituted a high powered committee headed by the sports minister for presentation of recommendations for the promotion of hockey.
Meanwhile, PHF secretary Rana Mujahid Ali welcomed the announcement. “The announcement by the chief minister is nothing less than restoring oxygen supply for the national game. We were desperate for funds and on the behalf of the entire hockey fraternity and players, I thank Shahbaz Sharif for this noble gesture. We will disclose our future plans in a press briefing tomorrow (Thursday)”.
Earlier in December, the PHF had requested that the government release Rs 300 million to cover their expenditure for this year. They also asked that Rs 500 million be sanctioned for the sport in the annual federal budget, this year onwards.
The PHF saw a new set-up in November after the elections. It was lacking funds even to pay salaries. According to the PHF, they needed an immediate ‘bail-out package’. The ‘bail out package’ stated that the PHF wants to focus on schools, colleges and universities. The proposal also included a programme for jobs assistance to players and promoting departmental hockey.