PHF warns hockey players to leave ‘controversial league’ WSH or face action

April 22nd, 2011 - 2:52 pm ICT by ANI  

Lahore, April 22(ANI): The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has warned all those players who have signed any contract with India’s unrecognised World Series of Hockey (WSH), to announce their disassociation from it before the selection of the national squad for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, or face severe punishment.

PHF Secretary Asif Bajwa said that all the probables for the Azlan Shah Cup had been conveyed the strict message by manager Khawaja Junaid to announce their complete disassociation from the WSH before the squad selection on April 28.

“My warning is also for those who are not attending the national camp, not to join any controversial league, as it will close the doors on them for all international hockey in and outside Pakistan,” the Dawn quoted Bajwa, as saying.

“The FIH has already warned all its affiliated countries to discourage any controversial league, and under its instructions, the players will not be permitted to feature in any tournament world over. We will also not allow such players to even represent their departments in domestic competitions,” he added.

Bajwa said that although he did not know the exact number of players who had signed WSH contracts, there was information about three players at the national camp- Rehan Butt, Mohammad Wasim and Shakeel Abbasi- plus former Pakistan captain Zeeshan Ashraf, Adnan Maqsood and discarded Mohammad Saqlain, being included in the list.

There are unconfirmed reports that Hockey India (HI)- the formal governing body for hockey in India, recognised by the FIH and the Indian Olympic Association- is working on an official league on the pattern of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

But as Pakistani cricketers are not featuring in the IPL, some Pakistani hockey players fear that they may also be excluded from the HI league on political basis.

Therefore, they reckon, it is better to join the WSH to earn money since many of these hockey players are on the verge of retirement. (ANI)

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