The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has imposed a hefty fine of €170,000 on Pakistan Hockey Federation for not honoring the Pro League commitments but the cash-strapped PHF said it is in no position to pay the penalty.
The PHF confirmed that the FIH this week imposed a fine of €170,000 on Pakistan at the last executive board meeting of the world body for not sending the national team for the Pro League matches in Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.
PHF secretary general Shahbaz Ahmed said Wednesday that he has requested the FIH to reduce the fine and allow it to be paid in instalments. “I told the FIH members that when didn’t have funds to send the team for the Pro League, how could we pay such a huge fine? I tried to convince the FIH members that they need to understand the crisis Pakistan hockey is going through and they should be at least giving us support instead of imposing any fines,” Shahbaz said.
“For the moment, I am relieved FIH didn’t ban us but I will continue to lobby to at least allow us pay the fines over instalments,” said Shahbaz, a former Olympian and captain.
The FIH, however, has given the PHF time until June 20 to pay the fine or else the penalty would be doubled. The PHF has been under fire since the World Cup in India last December where the team finished at 11th position with the government also refusing to release any more funds for the game.
Just recently, the PHF was forced to postpone its National Hockey Championship in Karachi which was due to begin from April 20 for the same reason.
Shahbaz is a member of the FIH Executive Board which is headed by India Olympic Association president Narinder Batra. He had resigned after the World Cup debacle but when his resignation was not accepted by PHF President, Brigadier (retd) Khalid Sajjad Khokar he returned to his post.