KARACHI: As was expected Habib Bank Limited (HBL) on Monday disbanded its football team, insiders confirmed to ‘The News’.
“Yes, the team has been disbanded today,” a source said.
“As per instructions, 15 footballers came to the HBL headquarters at 11am today and at 12pm they were handed over cheques of different amounts,” the source said.
Ibrahim, Adil and Abdul Salam had been associated with the department for 10 years. The rest of the players had been attached with it for five to six years.
Former Pakistan skipper Ali Nawaz Baloch condemned HBL’s decision. “It is a total injustice with the players who sacrificed their life by playing for the department for so many years,” Ali Nawaz told ‘The News’. “What would these players do now having passed their prime,” the former PIA striker said.
“HBL always proved to be tough opponents in the national league. Some of their players also played in international circuit. If these organisations don’t support football how will we be able to promote this game,” Ali said.
This is the second football team which has been disbanded during the last couple of years. In 2013, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) team had been disbanded when they got relegated from the Premier League.
A source also revealed that cheques for table tennis players had also been prepared. “I think they have been invited tomorrow,” the source said. International table tennis players Shabnam Bilal, Ghalia Khursheed, Rahila Kashif, Sadia Yaseen and Maleeha Khursheed represent HBL. HBL are reigning national champions in table tennis.
The source also said that 11 senior cricketers would also be laid off.