ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) director general Dr Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera thanked The Nation for pointing out the poor state of Naseer Bunda International Hockey Stadium and ordered lying down of new astroturf.

“PC-I had already sent to the ministry and we are hoping the approval will be issued very soon. As soon as approval is granted, international standard astroturf will be laid down without wasting a single day. We know hockey is our national game and we can’t afford any negligence in this regard. Since taking over the charge of DG, I always gave top priority to hockey and tried my best to provide them with best available facilities. I have completely changed the Allama Iqbal hostel dining room and refurbished the entire setup while new washrooms and air conditioners were installed in all the rooms. We have to capacity of hosting 500 players and we are working further on enhancing this capacity,” said Gangera while talking to The Nation.

“The players deserve better treatment to show desired results so we have to invest heavily on them. Last time, we didn’t provide desired training camps to the teams, that was the main reason behind unsatisfactory results in Commonwealth and Asian Games, but we gave excellent training for the Beach Games and results were much better than expectations. It is my utmost priority to conduct training camps for medal hopefuls round the year under the watchful eyes of the world’s best and renowned coaches. I am very grateful to Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) minister Mian Riaz Hussain, who stands by the PSB and always ready to help out whenever we need him. He is a true sports lover and a through gentleman, ever since he took over the charge, we had completely updated our facilities and provided top class facilities to all the players,” he said.

“The successful conduct of the 3rd SAFF Women Soccer Championship is an example of our dedication and commitment as all the visiting teams and delegations not only highly lauded the accommodation and meal but also hailed the facilities being provided to them. It is not our job to fill vacant stands, rather PFF should have made arrangements in this regard. We have written letters to educational institutes and it was the PFF’s responsibility to ensure maximum crowds presence during the championship, as we had provided them excellent venue, up-to-date sitting capacity and world class accommodation. It was a great event and could play a milestone in helping Pakistan reviving international sports,” Ganjera said.

He also lauded the PDSA and other associations who were working for the noble cause. “We have requested the ministry to hand over disabled sports to the PSB. We will take good care of these deserving people, and I would like to request media and other stakeholders not to write them disabled, rather they should be called as normal ones. They deserve better treatment and we have always taken care of special players and will do so in future too. I would like to extend my heartiest facilitations to the ICCI, PDSA and RISJA for conducting such a well-organised event to mark the World Disabled Day. I hope these players would earn respect not only for themselves but also for the country in international events.” “We will start training camp for the South Asian Games starting next year in India, as there is still time left before the final dates announced. The players will get training under best available coaches and I hope they will not disappoint the nation and win laurels for the country in return,” Ganjera concluded.