PHF suspends Abbas’ contract for skipping national camp
Karachi: The Pakistan Hockey Federation has suspended the central contract of Sohail Abbas and is planning disciplinary action against him after the veteran drag-flicker skipped a training camp here ahead of the national team’s European tour.
A senior PHF official said that despite several reminders, Abbas was from the camp set up for the team’s forthcoming Europe sojourn, which is a preparatory tour ahead of this year’s Delhi Commonwealth Games and Guangzhou Asian Games.
“We have suspended his central contract and his department, WAPDA has also set up an inquiry committee to probe into the matter,” PHF secretary Asif Bajwa said.
“If the inquiry committee recommends disciplinary action against him, then his contract can be cancelled and he can also be suspended for a period of time,” Bajwa stated.
Abbas, who is the leading goal-scorer in international hockey with over 200 strikes and also the senior-most player in the present Pakistan team, remained elusive from the media since he was named among the probables for the camp.
Another PHF official said Bajwa himself had called up Abbas several times but the player did not respond.
“His behavior is strange even if he does not want to play he should have informed us. This is not the a senior sportsman behaves,” he said.
Abbas has had uncountable run-ins with the establishment in the past also for several issues, most notable among them was his preference to play professional hockey in Europe over national commitments.
Abbas was recalled to the national team last year ahead of the 2010 hockey World Cup in New Delhi after the PHF had suspended him for more than a year following his failure to attend a training camp for the last Asian Games.
Meanwhile, sources close to Abbas said that he remained absent from the camp because he was fed up with the way the federation treated senior players.
“They invited Abbas and other senior players last time also for the Azlan Shah Cup but did not select them without assigning any reason. Abbas is also fed up with the situation,” one source said.