ISLAMABAD - Faisalabad Electricity Supply Cooperation (FESCO) is all set to cost country dearly as just for the personal interests, FESCO sports director summoned his athletes back on duty in Faisalabad, who were training in the camp for the Asian Athletics Championship at Pakistan Sports Complex for the last two months.
The most condemnable thing is that he did it just because the Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) didn't oblige FESCO female coach Shagufta, who was specially sent from Faisalabad to become part of the camp, as there were already three female coaches in shape of Olympian Sumiera Zahoor, Bushra Parveen and Seemi Rizvi.
It is pertinent to mention here that only 20 days remain in Pakistan team’s departure to China for the mega event but just for personal interest, FESCO head coach Bashir not only stopped gold medal winning athlete Sumira Tayyba and Najma, who were at the Faisalabad bus terminal to leave for Islamabad to join the camp, as Sumira was already one-week late, but the FESCO sports director didn't stop here and went on to recall athletes M Ali, Aneeka and Marrium Babar, who was the lone female representative of Pakistan in the Asian Athletics Championship 2015 in China, which would start from June 3. Pakistani contingent was scheduled to leave on June 1.
Head coach Asghar Gill, M Sajjad, Liaqat Ali and M Ikram will leave for China on May 15 to get training there to get use to conditions while remaining Shakeel and Marrium Babar will leave for China on June 1.
Talking to The Nation, head coach Asghar Gill said: “It will be a huge body blow for us, as we expect four gold medals from these athletes. I expect the athletes will report soon as it is about the country not about the personal egos.”
The inside sources in the AFP have confirmed to this scribe that Shagufta was not even second best athlete during her playing days and was a completely unknown as far as coaching was concerned, but FESCO head coach wanted the AFP to oblige her. When this scribe contacted AFP secretary M Zafar to seek his point of view whether the AFP would take action against the said coach for breaching code of conduct and inflicting a huge damages on the country and its image, he replied: “I have talked to FESCO in this regard and hopefully, the issue would be resolved soon.” But he completely ruled out any disciplinary action against the FESCO or said persons.
When this scribe contacted AFP president Gen Sahi, who is in Doha, in this regard, he replied: “I would take up the matter upon my return on May 13.” But the AFP chief refused to comment on secretary M Zafar's remarks and insisted that he would first take up the issue and then would decide future course of action. It was a very simple case of sheer negligence on part of FESCO head coach Bashir, but he was let off the hook by secretary Zafar just because of belonging to same department.
If such leniency continues on part of the AFP, then it will send a very negative message to other federations, as they will fall free to continue with their self-styled policies. It was hoped the AFP secretary in absence of the president would take strong action against the wrongdoers. Now Pakistan medal hopes cling on knife-edge and situation will be clear after the AFP president’s arrival from Doha.