Pakistan hockey president steps down, cites personal reasons
Karachi: The President of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and former Olympian, Akhtar Rasool, has resigned from his post on Thursday but insisted it was his personal decision and no one including the government had told him to step down.
"I have decided to step down but I don't want to make any more comments right now," he said.
It was expected that Rasool who represented Pakistan at two Olympics and four World Cups and was elected unopposed as the PHF president in December 2013 would resign following the national team's failure to qualify for the Olympics for the first time in Pakistan's history.
The shock ouster in the World hockey league held in Belgium two months ago led to the formation of a government fact finding committee to determine the causes for hockey's decline in Pakistan and the poor performance of the federation and team.
The PHF also formed its own probe committee which has mainly blamed the team management and players for not giving their best in Belgium and also the paucity of funds for the sport's decline in the country.
Both committees have submitted their reports after several meetings but Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who is chief patron of the PHF is expected to take a decision for the game on basis of the government fact finding report.
The government committee and even the PHF's own probe had apparently already recommended that the president of the PHF should be changed as he had failed to raise funds for the game and fulfill his responsibilities.
Some former Olympians including Islahuddin Siddiqui, Shahnaz Sheikh, Samiullah Khan had termed the 2013 PHF elections bogus but later Islah became chief selector while Sheikh was appointed head coach of the national team and is now under fire for the team's poor show in Belgium.
Pakistan secured eighth position in the qualifying event for the Olympics even losing to Ireland and France.