ISLAMABAD - The FMC 17th Asian Senior Individual Squash Championship will explode into action from today (Wednesday) here at Mushaf Ali Mir Squash Complex with 43 national and international players will be seen in action in the five-day event.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday at Mushaf Ali Mir Squash Complex, Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) SVP Air Vice Marshal Syed Razi Nawab said: “A total of 18 boys and 13 girls from eight Asian countries are taking part in the championship alongside six male and as many female players from the host nation.”

Razi, who is also vice president of Asian Squash Federation (ASF), said: “I am very thankful to Asian Squash Federation for helping us in every thick and thin. They allocated us this prestigious event despite 27 countries showed their interest in only three or four major squash events held in Asia. We are quite satisfied with the ASF and World Squash Federation (WSF) but it is the Professional Squash Association (PSA), who is not cooperating with us in these times of need. We had sent them countless requests to allocate more PSA events to Pakistan with handsome prize money on offer, like we did in the past, but they as usual present lame excuses regarding law and order situation in the country.”

Replying to a query regarding how much this event will help Pakistan in holding more international events, Razi replied: “We are very optimistic that successful completion of this event will boost our chances of holding more events like this in near future. Pakistan Air Force is taking care of the security and we will be providing foolproof security to players and officials.”

“We have allocated this event to Punjab Squash Association (PSA) as they had recently held the Asian Seniors Masters event in Lahore, in which past greats were gathered there. We have provided them logistic support and they are taking care of all other issues,” he added.

To another query regarding players were not getting dailies and were not provided national flag barrier T-shirts and some players were complaining about other minor issues too, Razi said: “The players will be provided all the perks and privileges according to rules and regulations.” “ASF president David Wui will arrive in Pakistan to witness the event and we will have a detailed meeting with him. As many as 21 officials have also arrived from different countries,” he said.

Replying a query regarding Indian players pulling out from the event, Razi said: “We have sent them invitation and they have not bothered to send their players. The championship will be held in a befitting manner no matter Indian players come or not.”

Speaking at the occasion FMC MD Farooq Shahid said: “We as the multi-national company working with the neglected sports in Pakistan for the last five years or so. We have sponsored many national squash players and we will cooperate with the PSF in bringing international squash back to the country as soon as possible. We will sponsor more and more squash events as we were the champions in this particular sport for more than four decades.”

“We have been holding championships from 2011 and 2012 and now we are looking forward to hold more events especially international events, which will boost the players PSA rankings and also help the country in producing great players like Jahangir and Jansher sooner rather than later,” he added.