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Fund crunch hits Pakistan hockey yet again, team mulls withdrawing from Olympic qualifier

Press Trust of India  |  Karachi 

Financial woes continued to trouble with the sport's national body now considering withdrawing from the FIH Pro League, a qualifying event for

The team, which almost missed World Cup in last December due to lack of funds, is scheduled to play its first phase matches of Pro next month, starting with the game against in on February 2.

The team will have to travel to and to play the matches there in the later part of next month.

For the second leg matches, the team will have to travel to

An official source told that was seriously considering withdrawing from the Pro-League because of the fund crunch and this could lead to a two-year suspension of Pakistan from international competitions.

"The has set up a training camp in for the matches against Argentina, and 45 players have been invited but until now no arrangements have been made to cover the expenses of the tours," the official source said.

He said at least 25 million rupees will be required to send the team to and then to and for six matches while the entire 16 matches of the Pro League Hockey (by including the leg) would cost around 70 million rupees.

"The government is not responding to the pleas for funds as was the case when the squad was going to in which was managed through sponsors and some private donations," he said.

Pakistan was earlier on the verge of pulling out of held in Bhubaneswar in December due to lack of funds but was ultimately saved by a who signed a sponsorship deal at the last minute.

A camp attendee in told that the facilities there were in shambles. He said to cut down costs in the extremely cold weather, the PHF had converted changing halls into rooms and around 12 to 14 players were staying in one hall.

"It is a sorry situation for hockey and most of the players are now considering just returning to their homes as there appears little chances of them getting any daily allowances as well," he said.

has resigned as PHF after debacle, as did the team's But, PHF (retd.) has stubbornly refused to resign despite pressure on him to do so.

"No one knows what Khokar is thinking but apparently he has got a message from the government quarters to resign as they want to appoint a serving top as PHF and bring in a new team to manage hockey affairs," a reliable source said.

Khokar, in the meantime, has appointed as a caretaker associate and made a former international as with Danish and to assist him.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 08 2019. 18:25 IST