‘Rebel’ players unsure about Olympic fate
KARACHI: Pakistan hockey players discarded by the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) are still unsure about their participation in the 2012 London Olympics.
Rehan Butt, Zeeshan Ashraf ,Shakeel Abbasi,Imran Warsi, Waseem Ahmed, Tariq Aziz, Adnan Maqsood and Mudassar Ali Khan were issued show-cause notices for participating in the World Series Hockey (WSH), which was not approved by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
The players, who have had heavy monetary fines imposed on them by the federation for participating in Indian rebel league, are still keen on representing Pakistan at the Olympics but have not been given any confirmation that they will be a part of the Olympic squad.
“We are looking forward to play for Pakistan again. We have already appealed to PHF President Qasim Zia, an option given to us when the discipline committee imposed those fines on us last week,” Shakeel Abbasi said while speaking to Dawn.com.
Abbasi added that the players need to practice with the squad and the PHF should let them know if they are to feature in any future plans before the upcoming European tour.
“If the PHF doesn’t want us they should really let us know now. The team is going to Europe in four or five days and we hope to be part of it as we, too, need practice ahead of the Olympics, provided they want us to play in the Games.”
He indicated that if the players are not going to be included in the Olympics squad, they will explore other options.
“We are professional players and need to keep on playing in order to earn our bread and butter. If the Pakistan team’s doors are closed for us then we have other options also in the form of offers from other foreign leagues. The Bangladesh league commences on the 15th of this month (June), so I urge the PHF to make up its mind about us as soon as they can.”