Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) is in consultation with the International Hockey Federation and (FIH) and Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) to organise an international five-a-side tournament.
PHF president Brig (rtd) Khalid Khokhar confirmed that PHF was in the contact with FIH and AHF to get permission for the event. The PHF president said that after the success of Hockey Series Open, the PHF wanted to continue the momentum. Thus, it decided to organise an international five-a-side international event in the country so that the process of revival of international hockey in the country continues.
“The event will not be a big burden on the PHF, which is facing shortage of funds, and it will help us groom our young, talented players when they play against mighty foreign hockey teams,” he said.
It is pertinent to mention here that HSO was the first multi-team international event in more than a decade. PHF has already successfully organised five-a-a-side events at domestic level. Pakistan last year organised a nine-a-side tournament in which nine goalkeepers from Australia and Argentina played for domestic teams.
Khokhar said that in the current scenario, five-a-side international event was an ideal choice. He also said that PHF wanted to increase the number of foreign players in the Pakistan Super Hockey League (PSHL) in which six teams will compete.
He said that PHF wanted three to four foreign players in each team. “It will help us groom our junior players for fast-paced international events,” he said. The PSHL would be organised in Lahore from January 12-19. The six teams will be named after the important cities of the country: Karachi Kararay, Lahori Ustad, Peshawar Dilawar, Multan Sufiyan, Islamabad Commander, and Quetta Defender.
A source said players would be coming from Germany, Holland, Spain, Belgium, France and Argentina.PHF is trying to arrange live telecast of the league, a source said. He added that the details of the PSHL would be made public at the end of the ongoing HSO.
As the PHF wants to groom young players through this league, it is putting an age restriction for local players, the sources said. They added that keeping in mind the future needs of the country, PHF had decided that players above the age of 25 would not be eligible for the league.