Hockey India offers to bail out cash-strapped arch-rivals Pakistan Hockey Federation

New Delhi: In a fine gesture, Hockey India (HI) on Saturday offered financial help to their Pakistan counterpart after the national hockey federation of the neighbouring country suspended a training camp because it could not pay its players and coaches daily allowances.

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) was forced to suspend the camp at Rawalpindi till April 10 because of paucity of funds. Pakistan need to appear in the Olympic qualifying tournament in the Netherlands in June if they want to make it to 2016 Rio Games.

In a letter to PHF Secretary General Rana Mujahid, Hockey India Secretary General Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad said HI was “willing to bail out the PHF”. “I have gone through news coverage... in case you are unable to raise resources for the training of the team for the World League Round 3 to be played in Belgium, we are willing to approach Government of India or our sponsors and well-wishers to bail out the PHF and our neighbour out of this difficult situation,” Mushtaque Ahmad said in the letter. India had suspended bilateral hockey series with Pakistan after the controversial semi-final clash at Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar last year which saw “vulgar and obscene” celebrations by Pakistani players after beating India 4-3.

Hockey: India start Olympic preparation

Ipoh (Malaysia): Already assured of a place in the Rio Olympics, Asian Games champions India will start their preparations for the mega-event with the 24th Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament where they would face Korea in their
opening match here today.

Given that India have already qualified for the Olympics, it was expected that the Asian Games gold-medallists will use
the Azlan Shah Cup as a testing ground for youngsters.

But the national committee and team management have made their intentions clear by handpicking the strongest possible side under Sardar Singh’s leadership.

India have gone for a strong 18-member squad with just three changes from last December’s Champions Trophy in
Bhubaneswar. Also post the Terry Walsh era, the Indian hockey team is presently witnessing a transition phase. — PTI

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