KARACHI: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) received a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Interior Ministry to hold their first-ever Pakistan Hockey League (PHL), but is yet to receive the permission for World XI matches.
The first-ever hockey league is scheduled to take place in April next year with international players participating. However World XI matches, which are proposed to be held this very month, haven’t received a go-ahead yet.
PHF President Brigadier (r) Khalid Khokhar and PHF Secretary Shahbaz Ahmad called Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal to express their gratitude for issuing an NOC.
Iqbal wished the PHF all the success in their venture. “Successfully hosting the PHL in Pakistan would not only go a long way in promoting hockey in the country, but also enhance its image as a peace and sport-loving nation.”
Shahbaz, while talking to The Express Tribune, said the PHL will be a treat for hockey fans in Pakistan. “It’s great news for hockey fans who will now be able to see world’s top stars featuring in our very own first edition of the PHL in April next year. We are ready with the paper work and preparations for the event will begin soon.”
Meanwhile, on the issue of not receiving NOC for the World XI matches, Shahbaz said they’ll need at least two months after receiving a green light.
“We are trying to get an NOC for the World XI matches as soon as possible and then we need two months to make it happen,” said Shahbaz. “We will be starting preparations for the PHL soon, which will also help us in holding the World XI matches earlier than proposed, but after we receive the NOC.”