LAHORE, Jan 19: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Asif Bajwa has claimed that while Pakistan’s Dutch coach Michel van den Heuvel has expressed concerns over security in Pakistan, he has not refused to continue his assignment with the Pakistan team.
Talking to reporters here on Wednesday, after arriving from Malaysia where Pakistan earned two seats in the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) elections, Bajwa said Michel would be in Faisalabad next month to watch matches of the national championship and during his stay the PHF would try to convince him about the security.
He hoped the Dutch official would continue his association with the national team till the London Olympics.
There are reports in the media that Michel wants to hold the national training camp outside Pakistan, probably in his home country, and there are chances the PHF will bow to his demand since he helped Pakistan win gold medal in the Asian Games after 20 years.
The secretary said Pakistan earned two seats in the AHF elections and it was an achievement as the PHF could not bag any seat in the last elections.
PHF president Qasim Zia was elected as vice-president in the AHF while Bajwa was elected as a member in the Executive Board.
He expressed hope the bilateral series between Pakistan and India would soon be revived.
“During the stay in Malaysia, we had discussions with our Indian counterparts and they assured us that soon after settling down the elections issue in the Indian Hockey Federation, India will meet all its commitments in reviving bilateral series against Pakistan,” he said.
“Furthermore, Malaysia and China also assured us that their teams will be visiting Pakistan this year,” he said.
“If these countries visit us, we are hopeful the PHF will also be able to host international tournaments in future,” he said.
Meanwhile, the PHF has also formed an interim national selection committee to watch matches of the ongoing National Tray Championship in Faisalabad.
The committee includes Khawaja Junaid, Rana Mujahid, Khalid Bashir and Ajmal Lodhi. The previous selection committee headed by Hanif Khan has been demolished as it was to work till the Asian Games.