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10-year ban on Olympian Rashid for ‘outburst’ against PM Khan shocks fans of hockey in Pakistan

Olympian said, “As a citizen of the country he had the right to speak, but “I didn’t use any abusive language.”

LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: Ten-year ban on Olympian Rashid-ul-Hasan by the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has shocked the experts and fans of hockey in Pakistan.

The Federation has slapped a ban on Olympian Rashid for his outburst on social media against Prime Minister Imran Khan over the decline of the country’s hockey.

Rashid-ul-Hasan, the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games gold medallist, has denied the allegations of using offensive language against the PM and he is going to challenge PHF’s ban in the court of law.

A PHF inquiry committee was constituted to see whether or not Rashid had used abusive language against Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is also patron-in-chief of the federation. The instructions in this regard were given by PHF president retired Brig. Khalid Sajjad Khokhar and secretary Asif Bajwa.

According to PHF, Rashid did not respond to two notices issued to him on the matter, and the committee imposed the ten-year ban. The copy of the notification has also been sent to National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Sports.

Dispelling the impression of abusive language, Rashid said, “On social media or any other public media I have always given respect to the prime minister.”

“On a WhatsApp group, I only said that on the container though Imran Khan was claiming that he would put the game of hockey on the right track, nothing came on the surface during the last three years. And I also said Imran will not do any good work for hockey,” the Olympian remarked while giving his clarification.

As a citizen of the country, Rashid added, he had the right to speak, but “I didn’t use any abusive language”.

Expressing his surprise over the ban announced by the PHF, Rashid said currently he was not even holding any position in the federation.

According to Rashid, he received the first notice from the PHF some five months ago, adding “it didn’t carry any solid material, that’s why I did not consider it serious”.

“The second explanation notice I received some 45 days ago,” he said.

“I wrote a short reply to the PHF refusing to accept the allegations as I did not use any abusive language against the prime minister,” he reiterated.

Meanwhile, the PHF requested the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) to issue letters to PEMRA and other relevant institutions to take further steps for implementing the ban on Rashid.

Javed Mahmood
Written By

I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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