PHF secretary Bajwa resigns after team`s failure

Updated: Sep 11, 2013, 21:21 PM IST

Karachi: The under-fire secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), Asif Bajwa resigned from his post today after the national team failed to qualify for the FIH World Cup for the first time since 1971.

Bajwa, a former Olympian, submitted his resignation to the Executive Board of the federation which met in Lahore to discuss the existing hockey affairs.

"The house has unanimously elected Rana Mujahid as secretary in the slot left vacant by Asif Bajwa until fresh elections are held for the term 2014-2018," a PHF release said.

The board also announced that fresh elections at club, district, provincial and national level will be held from October 25th to November 25th.

Sources said that the board had also decided to change the management of the national team but would announce this after finalising the new officials.

"Akhtar Rasool has also agreed to step down as head coach and manager," one source said.

Bajwa, who until recently was adamant that he would not step down, said he had taken the decision because of the team`s failure to qualify for the World Cup.

"In the end the responsibility lies with me. But I am proud that in my tenure the team achieved some notable successes," Bajwa told reporters.

"I am satisfied that we have managed to build a nucleus of players who can go on to serve Pakistan hockey for a few years now. Hockey made lot of progress in my tenure," Bajwa said.

Since Pakistan finished third in the recent Asia Cup in Malaysia and failed to qualify for the World Cup, former Olympians and and critics have been demanding the resignations of top PHF officials.

There was no word however after today`s board meeting on whether the PHF President, Qasim Zia had also offered to step down.