Addressing a crowded press conference at the National Hockey Stadium, Lahore, Saeed Khan, head coach of Pakistan women’s hockey team, and Mrs Tanzeela Aamer Cheema, secretary PHF women wing, completely refuted the allegations leveled by a woman hockey player on Mr Khan.
Syeda Sadia, who couldn’t gain selection in the Pakistan team for the forthcoming Women’s Asia Challenge in Brunei, had alleged that Saeed Khan harassed and assaulted her on the night of October 8 after an argument.
Mrs Cheema said that she was herself present that night along with a couple of other women officials.
“It was an official dinner in honour of the newly selected team for the Brunei event, team was announced only a day before”.
“Syeda Sadia, who was a part of the Pakistan team for the last international event, AHF Cup November 2016, in Thailand, couldnt win selection this time. I regard this as the sole reason for her outburst.
We have also dropped another player Iqra Javed who had supported Saeeda’s totally false allegations.
Iqra is a close friend of Saeeda and they hail from the same place.
There cant be any compromise on discipline.
I have recommended PHF to impose a life ban on Olympian Usman, former assistant coach of the women team, as there had been a lot of complaints and reports about him over the years.”
She praised Saeed Khan’s efforts as the women team’s coach.
“It was under Saeed Khan’s tutelage that the Pakistan women team had its greatest success when they finished fourth at the Asian Hockey Federation Cup in November 2016. We are hopeful for good results this time as well”.
When asked, if women wing is going to appoint some committee to probe the incident, Mrs Tanzeela replied, “there is no need for any committee since I was myself present that evening at the National Hockey Stadium”.
She also thanked Lt General Aamer Riaz, Corps Commander Lahore, for holding a reception for the women team at his HQ and announcing a cash award of Rs 2.5 million rupees for them”.
Saeed Khan thanked the media for its responsible behaviour regarding this matter.
“As a player ,I have been a twice World Cup winner and also coached Pakistan’s World Cup winning team of 1994. I have always enjoyed good reputation. During the camp, among other things, I told the trainees that all of you won’t make the team. Take the non selection in a good spirit.”
When asked if he feels demoralised as a result of this incident ? Saeed Khan replied, “Not at all. Though the incident did effect our last minute preparations but the entire squad, team and officials, are hopeful for podium finish in Brunei.”
Team manager, Lt Col (R) Ahmed Nawaz added, “I have known Saeed Khan since childhood. He has always been a gentleman throughout his life. We created a very homely atmosphere during the camp but you cant rule out miscreants.”