KARACHI: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) was snubbed by former hockey star Samiullah on Wednesday after the former Olympian refused to the accept offer of the national federation to become the chairman of a talent hunt programme. The PHF issued a brief press release on Tuesday, appointing Samiullah as chairman of the talent hunt programme. But Samiullah yesterday expressed his surprise over the offer and said: “No such offer was ever made to me officially. I haven’t met any PHF official since last six months and we have not had any discussion over phone, so, the offer is a surprise for me. Yes, I am a blunt supporter of the talent hunt programme and I have been advising the PHF since last six months to start it but the PHF did nothing in this regard,” he added. “Pakistan is already trailing at the 14th place in the world rankings and the game is losing its appeal in the country. Yet, the PHF is making mockery of the affairs by offering the post to me through the media and I am not interested to work with this PHF,” said Samiullah also known as the ‘Flying Horse’.
“I received a copy of a letter of the PHF about six days ago in which another ex-Olympian Islahuddin Siddique was offered the post of coordinator for the talent hunt programme,” he said. “I just want the PHF to do its work fairly for betterment of the game and they will always have our support,” he added. PHF president Sajjad Khokhar was quoted as saying that he had put the ball in Samiullah’s court as the latter had shown great interest in the talent hunt programme while discussing hockey affairs on a TV show. “So, I offered him the post at my own without holding any meeting with him. He should come and join us if he has any plans,” the PHF president said.