I have not resigned: Shahnaz

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan hockey team’s head coach Shahnaz Sheikh has flatly refuted the claim made in a section of media that he has resigned.

“There is no truth in some media reports, which claimed that I have resigned from my position,” Shahnaz told Dawn on Wednesday.

He, however, said the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) had hired his services till the 2016 Olympics, but the team could not qualify for Olympic Games. “Technically, my contract has almost expired, but I have not resigned,” he clarified.

Meanwhile, PHF secretary Rana Mujahid said the federation never received resignation from the head coach.

He said the PHF hired Shahnaz till the Rio Olympics, but unfortunately the team could not qualify for the mega event, that means, the head coach’s contract was going to expire.

However, Mujahid said, so far, the head coach hadn’t tendered his resignation yet, but added that there were chances Shahnaz would make an announcement in this regard on Thursday, before the media in Islamabad.

On Thursday, Shahnaz along with PHF officials and captain Mohammad Imran will appear before a probe committee formed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to know the reasons behind Pakistan hockey team’s failure to qualify for next year’s Olympics.

Meanwhile, commenting on the team’s show in Antwerp, Shahnaz reckoned the government’s non-serious attitude towards hockey was the primary reason behind the debacle.

“I had a 150-day plan — 70 days for training camp and 30 to 35 days for international matches — before the commencement of the qualifying round in Belgium but I was not provided [required] resources to execute my plan,” the head coach lamented.

Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2015

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