PHF to start five-a-side tourney to revive hockey in Pakistan

Pakistan is planning to start a five-a-side hockey league to attract potential investors, who can bail out the national sport from financial crisis.

Besides the five-a-side event, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) also has plans to launch its Super League. (File picture)   -  GETTY IMAGES

Desperate to revive hockey in the country, Pakistan is planning to start a five-a-side league to attract potential investors, who can bail out the national sport from financial crisis.

Besides the five-a-side event, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) also has plans to launch its Super League. “We are working on not only participating and organising 5-a side-hockey leagues but also introducing this format properly at the domestic level,” PHF secretary, Asif Bajwa said.

He said the new format was fast becoming popular in the world and also attracting players, sponsors and broadcasters.

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“Pakistan hockey has been going through a financial crunch for the last few years and that has hurt our performances. The suspension of sports activities due to the COVID-19 threat has not helped at all,” said Bajwa, a former Olympian.

The official said PHF has already started to work from its offices after the Pakistan government had relaxed the coronavirus lockdown guidelines.

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“With the government relaxing lockdown measures the PHF has also reopened its offices with all the SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) being followed. As a sports federation we have to come up with something new to revive the sport and also start raising funds,” Bajwa said.

Bajwa said the PHF is in process of inviting bids from individuals and corporate houses for the planned city-based franchise league.

“This is our first stage and in second stage we intend to attract broadcasters and sponsors.”

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