HBL considering dissolving football, TT teams [The News]

HBL considering dissolving football, TT teams [The News]

KARACHI: Habib Bank Limited (HBL) is seriously considering disbanding its football and women table tennis teams, highly credible sources told ‘The News’ on Thursday.

They said that 15 footballers and five women players of table tennis, all national champions, were on the hit list.

This correspondent tried to contact HBL Chief Marketing Officer Naveed Asghar but he was not in his office.

The sources said that the contracts of footballers, serving for the last eight years or so, used to be renewed every year. For the last six months their contracts had been renewed after every two months, they added.

The contracts of the footballers expired on October 31 and have not been renewed which has disturbed the players, the sources said.

The sources revealed that those footballers who had served for more than eight years had been receiving Rs20,000 to Rs22,000. Those who had served for less than eight years had been getting Rs14,000 to Rs16,000.

HBL won bronze medal in the National Football Challenge Cup in 2013 at KPT Sports Complex.

It was after 25 years that HBL finished at the victory podium. They had won a national title last in 1985.

HBL were relegated from the Premier League in 2013 when Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) decided that six teams instead of two would be relegated to the second-tier slots.

HBL football team has been a prestigious side and has always proved a tough opposition in national-level competitions.

The sources said HBL had spent a lot of money on Pakistan’s street child football team in recent years. That investment benefited the organisation and it does not need to keep its football team any more.

HBL is also set to dissolve its women table tennis team, which is currently the national champion.

The five players who will lose their jobs have been playing impressively both at national and international levels. They are all national champions. They are Shabnam Bilal, Ghalia Khursheed, Rahila Kashif, Sadia Yaseen and Maleeha Khursheed.

The men’s table tennis team had been disbanded a few years ago, a source said.

The sources said that HBL had recruited 15 cricketers on contract basis ahead of the ongoing domestic cricket season. They were being given Rs40,000 per month, a source said.

Published in The News on Friday, 13 November 2015