The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has got a financial boost as the government released Rs 25 million for the sports body, paving the way for the team's participation in the Asian Champions Trophy in Chennai in August. (More Hockey News)
An official of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) said that after the encouraging performance by the national junior team in the Asian Junior Cup in Oman, the minister for inter-provincial coordination Ahsan Mazari had approved the release of the funds.
"The funds will take care of the daily allowances to be paid to the junior team players and officials plus all the expenses to participate in the Asian Champions Trophy," the official said.
He also confirmed that the outstanding salaries of Pakistan's Dutch coach, Siegfried Aikman, will also be cleared soon.
Aikman left the coaching position with the Pakistan team and returned home after not being paid his salary for months.
Government funding and grants had dried up for the PHF in the last few years because of the dispute between the PSB and PHF over elections and constitutional issues.
The PSB and inter-provincial coordination ministry, which manages all sports and ties up with all national federations in Pakistan, had stopped funding over the re-election of Brig (retd) Khalid Sajjad Khokar for a third term, insisting there was no clause in the sports policy for a third term in any national federation.
But the PSB official said the minister had decided to make funds available to the PHF as matters were now being sorted out with the federation.
"There is also a feeling that hockey now needs financial injections to move forward and the performance in the junior cup has encouraged us all. The funding will ensure the players and coaches can focus on preparing for the Asian Champions Trophy without any financial problems."