Pakistan: Aikman’s salary issue may be settled next month

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) repeatedly sent reminders to the PSB to release the salary — PSB 

ISLAMABAD: The issue of Siegfried Aikman’s salary could be settled in June as the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) has made a renewed effort to clear his arrears before the end of financial year.

‘The News’ has learnt from sources within the Board that a fresh request has been forwarded to the Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) to allow payment of the pending salary and other relevant dues.

Besides a cheque of around Rs8 million, some other amount is also due to be paid to the Dutch national who has already resigned from the post of National Hockey Coach due to non-payment.

“We have forwarded a fresh request to the Ministry of Inter-provincial Coordination to clear Siegfried Aikman’s pending dues as it is a liability requiring adjustment before the end of financial year (June 30),” a PSB official told ‘The News’.

“The matter had already been discussed in the PSB Governing Board meeting. Now it is up to the Ministry to decide on the Siegfried Aikman pending salary. Since it was the PSB that had gone into agreement with the Pakistan national hockey coach, the request has been forwarded to the Ministry IPC,” the official said.

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) repeatedly sent reminders to the PSB to release the salary amount so that the Dutch national could travel back to Pakistan for training purposes.

“We have also received several letters from the de-notified federation to release the amount. But it is the PSB Board that has all the authority to decide on the matter that has been pending for months now. Since the coach has already resigned, we feel that all his dues should be cleared now,” the official said.

The hurdle is that the government has already de-notified the PHF and handing over the cheque to a de-notified federation would be against the rules.

“Siegfried’s salary cheque and pending amount could be sent directly to the coach or after the required undertaking from the de-notified federation. Since the PSB has den-notified the hockey federation, the communication with the federation and that too in the shape of grants or other amounts cannot be made. The viable options available are to either send payment directly to the Siegfried Aikman or to take undertaking from the de-notified federation. Nothing has been finalised as yet. First we need permission from the Minister,” he said.

The PSB recently paid Rs7 million to the federation to purchase tickets for the South Africa bound team. However, neither the NOC was issued for the junior team’s participation for Asia Cup nor any financial support was extended.

“The PHF matter is already pending with the Prime Minister. We are waiting for direction from the top on the future of PHF,” the official said.

Siegfried has already threatened to move to court in case he does not get his salary within the next couple of months. The fresh move by the PSB is also seen as an attempt to avoid any future complications.

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