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 LAHORE–Subsequent to the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) led by Syed Arif Hasan approaching the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) on the issue of Pakistan Hockey’s participation in the Commonwealth Games 2014 at Glasgow, the POA has been able to get another two weeks for the submission of the expression of interest. President POA confirmed the intent of POA's/CGA's participation in Hockey to the CGF on telephone followed up by an email yesterday

The POA President Lt. Gen. (Retd) Syed Arif Hasan spoke personally to the CGF CEO Mike Hooper on the phone. The intent being that our national game should not be denied participation in a most prestigious international event.

The CGF has informed that they will issue a formal invitation – which shall be received by the POA by August 2, with the deadline for the PHF to finally make up its mind whether it wanted to participate or abstain by August 16. Both these communications would be with the POA/CGA and no other organisation. After the discussion on the phone the CGA followed it up through an email asking for a confirmation, in writing, of what was discussed. POA responded immediately through a return email to Mr Mike Hooper confirming the same stating " As indicated to you during our conversation, POA is definitely interested in participating in the Men's Hockey competition at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. We await your formal invitation on the receipt of which we will once again follow up with the Pakistan Hockey Federation to confirm or otherwise".

If the Pakistan hockey team participates in the event, it would afford it a superb opportunity to test its squad for the 2016 Olympic Games by pitting against some of the best talent in the world – like Australia, England, New Zealand, Malaysia, India and South Africa. Actually outside of Germany, the Netherlands Belgium and Spain, all the top ranked teams in the world take part in the event. “We hope PHF would respond in a positive manner and keep the interest of Pakistan Hockey above everything else and rise above for the good of the national game”, said the POA president.

It by now should be obvious to everyone that the POA has literally gone out on a limb to maintain the window of opportunity for the PHF only for the sake of the interest of hockey – and also keeping in view the national prestige.