Karachi, November 9: The cash-strapped Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) received a further jolt after the country's cricket board turned down a request for financial aid to send the national team for the Hockey World Cup beginning in India on November 28.
The PHF had sought a loan from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to send the team to Bhubaneswar and clear the outstanding dues of players.
However with PCB turning down PHF request, Pakistan's participation in the FIH quadrennial extravaganza looks in jeopardy.
Pakistan's participation in the forthcoming #FIHWorldCup hockey is in doubt. The cash-strapped hockey federation had sought a loan from the Pakistan Cricket Board to send the team to Bhubaneswar but were refused since they are yet to repay the previous loan from PCB since 2000.— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) November 9, 2018
PHF Secretary Shahbaz Ahmed added that said that the national team's participation in the World Cup was in doubt since the government was yet to respond to repeated requests from the PHF to release a grant of Rs 82 million.
"We have now written directly to the Prime Minister's secretariat for the grant to be released within this week or else it would be very difficult for us to send the team to India," he said.
Earlier, Pakistan's new head coach Tauqir Dar and manager Hasan Sardar confirmed they had spoken to the PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani and requested him to provide a loan to cover the expenses for the World Cup.
"He was scheduled to meet us, but due to some urgent issues he spoke to us on phone. He made it clear that the PCB couldn't advance any loan to the PHF since the federation had not returned a loan given to them by the board during the tenure of Lt General (retd) Tauqir Zia in early 2000," said Dar.
The World Cup is scheduled to be held from November 28 to December 16.
"If we are not able to send the team to India it will not only damage our image in world hockey but we will also face a hefty fine from the FIH," Shahbaz added.
Dar said that they had told Mani to talk to the Prime Minister and if the government wanted they could directly pay the hotel where the Pakistan team will stay for the World Cup and also credit outstanding dues of the players in their individual accounts instead of giving any money to the PHF.
Players have yet to get their daily allowance for the Asian Champions Trophy and the camp set up prior to the tournament last month in Karachi.
(With Agency inputs)