ISLAMABAD - Poor refereeing by Asif Khan and Imran Khan deprived Riffat Khan from winning the Second Safari Women National Squash Championship 2013 on Sunday.

Zoya lifted the Championship after defeating Riffat 3-1 in the final. Zoya won the first game 11/1. She went on to win the second game 11/8, but young Riffat fought back to take the third game 14/12, before Zoya won the fourth game 11/9 to take the title.

Air Vice-Marshall Syed Razi Nawab, Senior Vice President Pakistan Squash Federation, who is also the Vice President of Asian Squash Federation, was the chief guest on the occasion. PSF secretary Abdul Wahab Marwat, Pakistan squash team head coach Jamshed Gul Khan, Commodore M. Ilyas VCE Bahria Town and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.

The eventual winner, Zoya, who was playing with the full fledge support of chair referee Asif Khan and side referee Imran Khan kept on body checking and used other dirty tactics right from the very first game to kept young Riffat at bay. Riffat lodged several strong protests with the referee, but all her protests fell to deaf ears, as Asif was keeping a mum on the entire issue.

When this correspondent contacted a very high profile person in the federation, who was present on the venue, the concerned person on condition of anonymity disclosed that these dirty tricks were used in the past too, as referees favour their blue-eyed players.

He said it was a matter of grave concern that all these things were done right under the noses of Pakistan Squash Federation Senior Vice President Razi Nawab and secretary Abdul Wahab Marwat, who were present on the occasion, but the referees, who had the backing of some provincial associations kept on giving rough treatment to Riffat. The chair referee didn’t bother to issue even a single warning to Zoya, who was continuously blocking Riffat from playing her game, he added.

That is the main reason of decline of squash in the country, as the persons who had either zero or little experience of referring managed to include their names in the big events and give undue favours to some certain individuals, who with their help managed to win titles at national level. But when it comes to participating in the WSA events, either these champion players knocked out in the qualifying rounds or in the very first round, as there are no referees to help them.

When this correspondent contacted PSF secretary Wahab and sought his views on poor state of refereeing in the final, Wahab said: “I am not satisfied with refereeing at all. There were some lapses. Now we have decided to arrange a camp for the referees so these minor issues should be settled once and for all.