Shahnaz Sheikh steps down Brigadier (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar newly appointed president of PHF

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Lahore, Aug 27: Pakistan hockey head coach, Shahnaz Sheikh has resigned from the post after team’s failure in Olympic qualifying event. The resignation came during a Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) meeting in Islamabad. Further, it was decided in the meeting that PHF secretary Rana Mujahid Ali will maintain his position till 2018. The meeting, which was attended by 95 of the 105 members of the hockey federation, was held in Crown Plaza Hotel, Islamabad. The main agenda of the afternoon was for the new federation president, retired Brigadier Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, to take a vote of confidence from the members. Shahnaz Sheikh said under his coaching Pakistan team played three out of four finals of the tournaments. He said his decision to resign for the betterment of the game was ‘timely’. Shahnaz went on to say that he has mentioned all the reasons behind the failure and for improvement of the team in his resignation letter. Pakistan, which has won Olympic gold in the sport three times and the world championship four times, finished eighth in the Olympic qualifying rounds in Belgium in July, and will now not take part in the Rio Olympics in 2016. The 43-year-old, who was part of the 1994 World Cup winning team, is an International Hockey Federation (FIH) qualified coach and has served Egypt and Azerbaijan besides having a stint with the Greenshirts a decade ago. Earlier this month Pakistan’s hockey chief Akhtar Rasool also handed in his resignation, saying, “I have resigned from the post for the best interests of the country and for the sake of our Pakistan national team failed to qualify Olympics for the first time in history.

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