A cloud of uncertainty has enveloped Pakistan hockey after its chief coach Siegfried Aikman departed for his home country Netherlands amidst growing talk that the coach has left Pakistan in anger at not being paid his salary for a long period of time. Hockey Passion took a deep dive into the future of Siegfried Aikman as Pakistan coach and learnt that he is in the Netherlands spending quality with his family simply because Pakistan does not have any international engagements lined up in the near future, and it is not after all a case of ‘packing his bags for good’. Of course, the fact that Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) hasn’t been able to pay his salary over many months is certainly leaving the coach frustrated and disappointed.
“I’ve not left Pakistan in anger. There are no international programmes lined up and players have returned home, so there is little point in staying there away from the family. I intend to return to Pakistan after the 2023 World Cup,” he says in a chat with Hockey Passion.
The swirling talk about Aikman being not paid his salary on time is a concerning for him. “I haven’t received my salary for eight months, which means my family had no income from me and this cannot continue like this,” he says while being sympathetic towards the Pakistan Hockey Federation. “The Pakistan Hockey Federation has been doing its best to get the government pay my salary as agreed upon when I signed as Pakistan coach. For the first six months of my coaching stint PHF paid my salary from their own coffers but they themselves don’t have money at the moment. The PHF has put in a request to the Pakistan Sports Board to release the funds, so let’s see,” he says.
The Dutchmen makes his point crystal clear about his future as Pakistan coach. “I’m hopeful that the Pakistan Sports Board would release funds and at least clear my pending eight-month salary so that I can continue my job and prepare the Greenshirts for the 2023 Asian Games. I’m fully committed to take Pakistan hockey forward and there is no question of leaving Pakistan in anger or anything of that sort. Operating without getting paid is very challenging for me and my family,” he signs off.