Sports: Hockey: I have been insulted by the federation: Hanif Khan

Karachi: Former hockey Olympian Hanif Khan Wednesday said Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF insulted him by showing him the door as coach without seeking an explanation following Hockey World League debacle.

PHF has shown the door to the former great, who has also worked as chief selector in the past and now the federation has given the duty of coach to Tahir Zaman for upcoming Asia Cup.

Tahir Zaman was the team’s consultant during the important Hockey World League, which offered three direct berths to the World Cup 2014 for the top three teams. However, Pakistan came seventh in the eight-nation event. Next month’s Asia Cup would also offer a berth for the champions for the World Cup, but Asian powerhouses Korea, India and Malaysia are also eyeing that rare berth.

“(Chief Coach Akhtar Rasool preferred Tahir Zaman’s input and it was Tahir who was actually the front man at the camp and also the Hockey World League,” Hanif said in a press conference on Wednesday.

“I have three medals under my belt as coach. Sacking me in this way, with even listening to my version, PHF has insulted and I would never take any position in the management ever in future,” Hanif said.

Hanif said that by sacking him for Hockey World League, PHF was making him the scapegoat although he was not the person to be blamed for the failure.

“All the planning was done by Tahir Zaman so I believe it was unjust to make me the reason behind the failure,” he added.

Hanif further said that he was already thinking of resigning as coach for many reasons. “I would have myself resigned as coach for several reasons,” he said.

However, Hanif said that Tahir Zaman was like his younger brother but he should have been given the junior team instead the senior side to coach.

Hanif said that in spite PHF insulted him but he would continue to be a well wisher of the federation and added that he would not join the group of former Olympians who have joined hand to see the sacking of the federation.

Many former Olympians of Islahuddin, Samiullah and Shahnaz Sheikh’s calibre have joined hands against the incompetent federation and have for a long time appealing to the government to sack the unsuccessful PHF setup and bring some new competent people in the federation.