RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif has said he would support any endeavour to restore Pakistan’s glory in sports, particularly in hockey, in a bid to revive the country’s identity as a sporting nation.
The army chief attended the final match of the first Chief of Army Staff Hockey Cup in Rawalpindi and gave away trophy, medals and cash prizes to the winning teams of the tournament. National Bank of Pakistan won the cup by defeating PIA.
The army chief’s statement comes at a time when the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has been struggling to cope with the shortage of funds that may hold back their participation in Sultan Azlan Shah and Olympics. They have reportedly not received any grants from the Prime Minister during the last 20 months.
The team’s recent loss to Germany in the final of the Champions Trophy in India has further deprived the team of a golden opportunity to win the prestigious event after 20 years.
The hockey team has earned a number of milestones in the past being the only hockey-playing nation that has won the hockey World Cup title four times. It has also won hockey gold medal at the Asian Games for a record eight times.