ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) Annual General Meeting, held at Senator Dilawar Abbas PTF Tennis Complex on Monday, took nasty turn as PTF secretary Mumtaz Yousuf unleashed verbal attacks on Pakistan's tennis ace Aisamul Haq Qureshi and held him responsible for awarding the Davis Cup tie to New Zealand.
The inside sources have confirmed to this scribe that meeting started at a very cordial manner and things were going smoothly until all of a sudden Mumtaz and his nephew Ahmed Ijaz started criticising Aisam. They were snubbed by the entire house especially PTF president Syed Kaleem Imam who took serious notice of distributing the unsigned report without any authority signature.
It is pertinent to mention here that Mumtaz was vehemently taken to task by the president, who sought explanation as why and how such thing surfaced. Kaleem remarked: “I have not seen this report and I strongly object and overrule such brainless and unauthorised report. Talking to this scribe, Kaleem said: “The tie was held to utmost PTF satisfaction and it was our bad luck that the referee made a wrong decision. I am grateful to Ihteshamul Haq, father of Aisam, for his services and so proud of Asiam as a player and gentleman.”
Accordingly, the secretary concocted that on Aisam's behest, the Davis tie was held in Myanmar to favour Robert Davis, who was tasked to bring international tennis back to Yangoon. He continued that Aisam had deviously along with Robert maneuvered to achieve some ulterior objectives to favour the Myanmar Tennis Federation.
The council members were perturbed, raised their objections for leveling unsubstantiated and baseless allegations against ace tennis star. “We are hurt and sad for such outrageous account,” said PTF adviser Nadir Mumtaz.
Earlier, Dilawar Abbass, Majid Bashir and Jamal Mirza explained entire Davis Cup episode and the tainted umpiring by referee Asitha Attygala. It was conveyed that even the Kiwis Tennis Federation president has regretted poor decision. The ITF was apologetic and rules are going to be amended to avoid such debacle in future.
The council members appreciated the PTF for hoisting first Davis Cup tie at neutral venue but all were hurt and flabbergasted on the secretary assertions which were widely condemned.
Sharing his views, former Davis Cup coach Fazle Subhan said: "I am hurt to hear this as Asiam is one of the best players Pakistan have ever produced and he is true ambassador and gentleman in all aspects. Everybody loves him and he is icon of nation. The insinuation by Mumtaz should be challenged and he should be suspended for irresponsible conduct and leveling baseless allegations.”
When contacted for comments, Pakistan No 1 player Aqeel Khan and coach M Khalid, who were part of Davis cup team, said: “They were disgusted by the PTF secretary approach as he has done nothing for tennis and he should be charge-sheeted for his malicious statement against Aisam and we condemn this strongly.”
In further proceedings as dust settled, Dilawar Abbas was tasked to commence commercial activities at PTF complex while player's development strategy and upcoming international features of 2014 were also discussed. Tariq Mutaza was tasked to head player's development strategy and also made head of talent hunt committee and Col Asif Dar was requested to follow up on the four years plan of the PTF.
Committee headed by Jamal Mirza appointed Saeed Hai as senior executive vice president for remaining period of the term, in view of his lifelong services to tennis. Khalil Chugtai was tasked to look after treasury issues as Arif Qureshi had resigned while Arif's services were highly lauded.
It was made clear during the meeting that tournaments in the regions would be streamlined through respective associations, meanwhile, it was also decided that restrictions on Subh-e-Nau to remain as the NGO has failed to respond to the PTF council queries.
The council members did not endorse Arif Anis application for associate membership and it was again emphasized that the training facilities at Thailand and Kazakhstan would be fully utilized. The meeting also offered ‘fateha’ for the departed soul of Arif Qureshi's mother.