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The Pakistan Hockey Federation on Thursday banned Olympian Rashid-ul-Hassan for 10 years for allegedly using abusive language against Prime Minister Imran Khan while criticising the decline of hockey in Pakistan on a social media platform.

Rashid is a former Pakistani hockey player who won a gold medal in the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympic games. The hockey player denied the allegations of using abusive language and according to Dawn.com, he’s considering the option of challenging the ban in the court of law.

The PHF made a inquiry committee to see if Rashid had used offensive language directed at the PM, who is also the patron-in-chief of the organisation.

The press release by PHF stated that the instruction in this regard were given by the president of the organisation retired Brig Khalid Sajjad Khokhar and Secretary Asif Bajwa. The PHF issued two notices to Rashid, when he didn’t respond to them, the committee decided to impose a ten-year ban on the Olympian.

“On social media or any other public media I have always given [due] respect to the prime minister,” said Rashid. “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. And I also said Imran will not do any good work for hockey,” he added.

Rashid, who doesn’t hold any position in the PHF said that the first notice didn’t carry any solid material which is why he disregarded it. However, he replied to the second letter sent by PHF denying allegations of use of abusive language against the PM.

The PHF has reached out to the Pakistan Sports Board and PEMRA to ensure the implementation of the ban on the former hockey player.

Responding to the ban on the Olympian, journalist Hasan Zaid said on Twitter, “What a ridiculous ban. Such fragile egos and such suckers up around them.”

Former editor of Dawn replied to Zaidi and said, “Pettiest, smallest of people with old school SHO type complexes and attitudes.”