LAHORE - Former hockey Olympian Manzoor Junior has asked the government to appoint Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali as Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) president as he is the only person who can save Pakistan hockey.
Talking exclusively to this scribe on Friday, the former captain who led the country to 1984 Olympics gold medal said: “Jamali is a very good administrator and has great knowledge and experience of hockey so his appointment as PHF chief will prove very helpful for the game the future of which is at stake due to wrong policies of the current PHF management.”
“If Jamali becomes the PHF chief, he should devise a five-year plan to improve and raise the standard of the game and his main tasks should be earning medals in the Olympics 2016 and World Cup 2018. He should also get benefit from the services of former hockey greats as with their sincere efforts, they can help revive hockey in the country,” he added.
Manzoor, also known as golden player, suggested that there must be provincial hockey academies under the able guidance of ex-Olympians with the purpose of hunting and grooming young and promising talent which could represent the country at international level and earn laurels for it. Speaking in favour of Asian style hockey, he said: “Asian style hockey is our pride but when we gave up it and adopted the European, our hockey started declining so instead of following European style blindly, we should not only revive our style but also teach and train our youth with technical and attacking hockey which is the only way to regain lost hockey glories.”
“There is a beauty in our style which includes dribbling, short passes and attacking hockey but when we neglected it, it became difficult for our team to beat even lowly-ranked teams with utmost ease. But with revival of our own style, we can prepare our youth well for the mega hockey events and in reply, they can earn medals for the country,” the ex-Olympian added.
He said another major reason behind hockey downfall was lack of domestic events in the country. “In our era, a lot of domestic hockey used to play and the domestic events used to help the PHF in hunting and grooming some quality players for the national team. So domestic events should be revived and must be held on regular basis if we want to raise the standard of the national game.”
“It is my request to Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif to appoint Jamali as PHF chief to save hockey from further decline otherwise the future of the game is bleak,” he concluded.