ISLAMABAD – The eight-member Pakistan boxing team left for Astana, Kazakhstan on Wednesday to take part in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament matches, the team comprises of five boxers, two coaches and one manager.
In 49kg category, Nisar Sona, in 52kg, M Waseem, gold medallist, in 56kg, Nematullah, bronze medallist, in 64kg, Haider Riaz and in 69kg, Zulqarnain Haider, Majeed Barohi and Arshad Hussain coaches and Captain Ansar Raja is the manager. It is pertinent to mention here none of the PBF official bothers to turn up to the airport to see off the team, except camp commandant Shahid-ul-Haq, who is also the fitness coach of the boxers.
When this correspondent contacted Shahid to seek his comments, he said: “I went to airport as I feel it was my responsibility and with them till their departure and buck them up. As far as my ban is concerned I don't know why PSB officials had stopped me from entering the premises as I had got the letter of PBF in which clearly written that I am the commandant of the boxing camp, despite assurances from PBF president Doda Khan Bhutto nothing in practical was done as far as my ban was concerned.”
It is also reliably learnt that not a single travel agency was ready to accept Doda Bhutto's cheque as all of them demanded cash while Doda Bhutto used Pakistan Sports Board DGs good offices and finally manages to arrange tickets for the Pakistan boxing team, but each ticket costs national exchequer an extra amount of USD 700.
Uzbek Airline ticket was costing each member Rs 54,000, but the boxing team was sent from Turkish Airline that costs each member a whooping Rs 230,000, the same airline ticket was earlier costing Rs 87,000 but reasons best known to boxing federation why such a hefty amount and on who's behest was paid.
The boxers will not get a single day rest and would be in competitive action today, had the federation opted for Uzbek or Turkish Airlines earlier flights available on Friday last, boxers could have adjusted to the conditions and could have bright chances of qualifying for the Olympics.
Who is to blame for purchasing such costly tickets and sending team at the eleventh hour, Doda Bhutto or someone else?
The PSB officials doesn't even bother to provide transport facilities to the boxers and used cabs to reach airport, such a disgrace to national champions who were going to get laurels for the country never heard or seen any where.