ISLAMABAD, Jan 22 (APP):Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association (PBSA) Chairman Alamgir A Shaikh said on Tuesday that participation
of the country’s cueists in international events was doubtful due to financial constraints as the federation had not received any funding from the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) during the ongoing year.
“The annual grant issued by the government helps us meet around 30 to 40 per cent of our total expenditures. But our grant for the ongoing year has not been released as yet, which has made participation of our cueists in international events doubtful,” he said while speaking at Rawalpindi and Islamabad Sports Journalists Association’s (RISJA) “Meet the Press” programme here flanked by PBSA President Munawwar Hussain Shaikh.
In the near future, Pakistan cueists are scheduled to participate in Asian 21 Snooker Championship, Asian 6 Red Team Championship and Asian Men Championship. All these events will take place in Doha, Qatar by the end of April, this year. But Alamgir Shaikh said keeping in view the present situation he was not in a position to say whether Pakistani cueists would be able to participate in the important international events or not. “If the situation remains as it is, then it may be difficult,” he added.
He said despite outstanding performance of the federation it had not been given even a single penny by the PSB during the ongoing year. “During this year, our cueists have already featured in three international events. And all the expenses for participation in these events were borne by the federation itself,” he added.
He sought the government’s help to resolve the financial issues of the federation. “We have already met Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination and requested her to help resolve our core issues. Now we also request to the prime minister to take notice of the situation,” he said.
“We are among the five to six sports federations out of the above 40, whose performance has been outstanding over the years. Hence we don’t see any reason for not issuing us our grant,” he added.
The PBSA chairman said the federation would also hold the Pakistan Super Snooker League in April, this year. “Top international players will be seen in action in the League along with the country’s cueists,” he said.
To a question, he said the Task Force on Sports, headed by Ehsan Mani, had not made any contact with the federation to seek its proposals. “We could have given our input for the betterment of snooker, but we were not contacted by the Task Force. So I don’t have any idea as what sort of recommendations it has submitted to the prime minister,” he added.
“The snooker, kabaddi, tennis, hockey and squash federations have their own issues and a system of functioning. I will request the prime minister to include legends of these sports in the Task Force for the betterment of sports in the country,” he said.