LAHORE- Former Pakistan hockey Olympian Rehan Butt says that Pakistan hockey team might have to miss the Olympic Games owing to lack of funds.
Talking to this scribe on Tuesday, Butt said: “We are about to miss Azlan Shah Hockey event, Common Wealth Games, Youth Games and above all Asian Games which are very important for the country as if we do not appear in Asian Games, we will be unable to qualify for the Olympics Games.”
He said that the PHF had been going through tough times and was in dire need of funds to run its affairs successfully. “If the government releases funds timely, it will help the federation to initiate work for promotion of the national game at grassroots level and to organise national tournaments to hunt talent for the national squad.”
“Cricket and hockey are the only two games in which Pakistan has been earning laurels across the globe. Cricket has higher budget and sponsors but hockey and its players have been treated step motherly and being deprived of their due rights. Pakistan is known as a great hockey playing nation and also has won medals many times at international level. The national game deserves proper attention of the government and an early release of funds can help revive the game in the country,” he added.
To a query, Butt replied: “If government releases funds timely, they will be utilised purely for the promotion of the game. If anyone has any issue regarding misusing of the funds, we will ask government to prepare an accountability procedure as well.”
The ex-Olympian requested the PM to grant funds to PHF to save hockey from decline. “PML-N government always supports sports and holding of youth festival is an example of it. I hope the PM, who is a keen lover of sports, will grant the PHF funds to bring the game to the same heights which once it had enjoyed,” he concluded.