Pakistan women’s hockey on verge of collapse: sources

LAHORE: Politics and vested interests of individuals have brought Pakistan women’s hockey on the brink of calamity, sources told Daily Times Friday on the condition of anonymity. “Ever since present Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) women wing’s general secretary Ms Parveen Gill got involved with the affairs of women’s hockey in 1978, the game has not only gone to the dogs but it is almost non-existent now,” sources claimed.
They said Ms Parveen was the municipal corporation lady sweepers supervisor before she made her way into PHF women’s wing ‘courtesy of her political connections’. “She won the local government councilor elections and wasting little time, formed an alliance with then Queen Mary College principal Ms SA Khan to remove then women’s wing secretary Ms Parveen Atif from the designation. She made Ms SA Khan women’s wing president and herself the secretary to begin a journey of ‘political hockey’ that spans more than 30 years to date.”
Sources said Ms Parveen was ‘notorious’ for her politics and all she had done in the last 30 years was to somehow break or make up with people in order to keep her authority intact at the expense of Pakistan women hockey. “Officials close to her have always been non-technical individuals with little knowledge of the sport and who have been helping her on the way as she left Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) for Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) in order to climb up the political ladder,” alleged sources.
They further said that there was no accountability for Ms Parveen’s actions as she kept on appointing dummy regional presidents and handed over women’s wing positions to relatives and friends, especially those school principals, who provided school transport and fake audience for so-called domestic matches. “Such individuals then always accompany her, as a return favour, on foreign tours where repeatedly the Pakistan women’s team gets thrashed by huge goal margins. Yet Ms Parveen and the officials make sure that they do all their shopping and enjoy their trip to the fullest.” It is pertinent to mention that the International Hockey Federation (FIH) gives development grant and affiliation to those member countries that have a women’s hockey team alongside the men’s team. “Therefore, the PHF is least bothered about the women’s wing and only wants its presence on paper, having allowed the women’s wing affairs to get ruined for the last three decades by Ms Parveen’s ‘one-woman show’.”
Sources asked questions: “Why the women’s wing secretary, whose tenure ended in 2006 after getting elected in 2002, is still in power? According to which law does she participate in Pakistan hockey council and general body meetings? Why the women’s wing elections have been delayed for so long?”