ISLAMABAD - Olympian Naveed Alam offered his services to revive fast declining fortunes of national sports hockey within six months if given complete authority and made him director planning/development.
“I am ready to work for the national cause free of cost and could also resolve financial crisis persisting with the current management of the federation. I had worked with Bangladesh Hockey Federation for 14 months as director coaching and took them to Asian Games and Youth Olympics. Never in the history before Bangladesh were able to select even a single full-fledge playing XI in the past. With my tireless efforts and hard work, I was able to establish five different age group teams. Pakistan hockey is much better and there is absolutely no comparison between green shirts and Bangladeshi hockey teams but as far as organization, sponsorship, government and media support is concerned they are way ahead.”
Naveed said there was no government involvement at all in Bangladeshi hockey affairs and Bangladesh Hockey Federation president Air Chief Inamul Bari was doing tremendous job for the game as he involved cooperate sector to ensure there would be no financial hazards in smooth functioning of hockey federation. “Bangladesh had constituted a sports institute called BKSP near capital Dhaka, where different international coaches were hired to impart coaching. All the other countries adopted Pakistan model and implemented our ideas and are enjoying huge success while our hockey is on consistent decline. We have to take drastic steps or else forget about hockey.”
Naveed said he was quite astonished Prime Minister, who is also the patron of the PHF, was not taking interest in hockey matters. “He is not taking any action and no body feeling the pain and embracement, which we went through when Pakistan for the very first time failed to qualify for the World Cup and now we are almost on the brink of missing out on the Rio Olympics as well. Now we are pinning great hopes on performing well in Olympic qualifiers to get a birth for the Olympics. It hurts when we see national hockey stadium not used for hockey but for different functions.”
“PHF president Chaudhry Akhtar Rasool visit my house and wanted my support. I told him to identify mistakes/culprits, play role or leave the post. Government is not in a mood to listen you and not giving time despite two years gone, your own party’s PM not ready to meet you and players, masses and Olympians are feeling the grave pain. I suggested him to hire right man for the right job. PM must interfere and order complete operation clean up. Now we are facing a situation whre we can’t even find 11 players.”
Naveed lamented that hockey was national sports only in books while in reality hockey was given step-motherly treatment and only handful of hockey players are living respectable life and that too because they play in international leagues abroad, while majority of players were suffering. “Until and unless players’ living standard is not improved, no one could expect even ordinary results. I had stayed with the national team at Pakistan Sports Board for the last 4 days or so. I find majority of players very low in confidence. They were not looking gold medal contenders and district level organization was witnessed at national level. If Shahnaz and Islah are not on board, then God knows better where the team would stand.”
He said same persons were occupying federation in one role or another for the last 12 years. “If their performance is satisfactory, let them continue, if not then they should be immediately removed. Hockey world gives tremendous respect to Pakistan and they kept on changing rules just to accommodate greenshirts. I request PM Nawaz Sharif to save hockey from further decline. I didn’t change my principle stance for the last 8 years as I don’t want anything; I just want hockey to flourish and see Pakistan team of same old glory days. Any further delays in taking action by the PM would further aggravate the situation as non-performers and liabilities must get the boot,” Naveed concluded.