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PublishDate: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 12:24

Pakistan to boost hockey in Afghanistan

The PHF is the first from a country to offer support to the AHF.

 Afghanistan Hockey Federation (AHF) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) for setting up a proper structure in place to flourish in the country.

The PHF is the first from a country to offer support to the AHF.

Hockey, in Afghanistan, is considered as popular as cricket and football among the Afghan youths while it is estimated that there are around 500-600 hockey players in Afghanistan.

The latest MoU between the Afghanistan Hockey Federation (AHF) and the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) would see the latter provide assistance in restructuring the sports in Afghanistan in line with contemporary hockey.

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) will offer assistance in setting up hockey academies across Afghanistan having state-of-the-art facilities.

The Afghan youth live their hockey passion by playing on grass as well as on concrete surfaces. The country needs concrete efforts to facilitate the youth in this regard.

Pakistan, who are one of the world’s top hockey stick makers, would donate 100 hockey sticks and 100 balls to the AHF.

As per the MoU, three Afghan teams would visit Pakistan every year and all the expenses would be borne by the Pakistan Hockey Federation. Besides, Afghanistan national team and two junior teams would also undergo a two-week training stint in Pakistan every year.

It may be worth recalling that the Afghanistan men’s hockey team had participated thrice in the Olympics 1936 Berlin, 1948 London and 1956 Melbourne.

This is not the first time that Pakistan has offered their helping hand to Afghanistan in sports. In 2011, Pakistan had extended assistance to Afghanistan cricket as well.

Afghanistan was granted ODI status by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2009. The progress was very much apparent as Afghanistan went on to qualify for the T20 World Cups in 2010 and 2012.
(Associated Press of Pakistan)

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