Olympian Rashid Banned For 10 Years For Using 'Abusive Language' Against PM Imran Khan Online

Olympian Rashid Banned For 10 Years For Using ‘Abusive Language’ Against PM Imran Khan Online

Olympian Rashid

In a peculiar development that may raise voices in support of freedom of expression, olympian Rashid-ul-Hasan was banned by the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) on Thursday for ten years allegedly for his offensive criticism over the decline of the country’s hockey on a social media platform.

Rashid, who won a gold medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, is considering whether to challenge the ban in court. He categorically denies the allegations that he used offensive language.

Image: Twitter

To determine if Rashid used abusive language against Imran Khan, who is also PHF chief patron, a PHF inquiry committee was formed. According to a press release issued on Thursday, PHF president retired Brig Khalid Sajjad Khokhar and secretary Asif Bajwa issued instructions in this regard.

The olympian did not respond to two notices issued to him. Subsequently, the committee on PHF president’s instructions decided to impose a ten-year ban on him. A copy of the notification has also been sent to the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Sports.

Image: AA

Rashid in response to the matter dispelled the impression that he used abusive language against the prime minister on any social media platform. “On social media or any other public media I have always given [due] respect to the prime minister,” the 62-year-old Rashid told a local media outlet.

The olympian denies all allegations

“On a WhatsApp group I only said that on the container though Imran Khan was claiming that he would put the game of hockey on the right track, nothing came on the surface during the last three years,” the olympian remarked while giving his clarification. “And I also said Imran will not do any good work for hockey.”

Image: File

It was his right to speak as a citizen of the country, Rashid said, but he had not used any abusive language. He expressed surprise over the ban announced by PHF, noting that he was not even holding any position in the federation. According to Rashid, he received the first notice from the PHF some five months ago, adding “it did not carry any solid material, that’s why I did not consider it serious”.

“The second explanation notice I received some 45 days ago,” he said. “I wrote a short reply to the PHF refusing to accept the allegations as I did not use any abusive language against the prime minister.”

Meanwhile, the PHF requested the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) to issue letters to PEMRA and other relevant institutions to take further steps for implementing the ban on Rashid.

Read More: Pakistan Slays India In SAF Games Hockey Final To Clinch Gold

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