ISLAMABAD - Pakistan No 1 and world No 91 female squash player Sadia Gul sends SoS call to Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) president Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman regarding step-motherly treatment being rendered to female players in the country.

Talking to The Nation, Sadia, who just returned after playing in Malaysia, said: “The PSF must pay some attention towards females, as for how long just to win laurels for the country and achieve our goals, we will pass on the burden of heavy expenditures on our families, which is the responsibility of the federation.

“The PSF should give at least some importance to female players as well, as in the PSA rankings, both Pakistan male and female players are amongst top 50, which shows female players are not far behind the male players, who enjoy complete limelight, extra-ordinary PSF backing and get international tours as well, unlike of females, who can’t even get a single PSA tournament in Pakistan, as the federation just focus on male PSA events, with the only exception of Bahria Town, which conducts female PSA event every year,” she added.

Speaking about her plans, Sadia said: “I have planned to participate in the PSA events and for that I want the federation to lend me a helping hand. After Maria Toor, I am the present No 1 player of country, while Sammer Anjum and others also need special attention. Let me assure that if provided with support and help from the PSF, we will not let them and the country down and win laurels for Pakistan.”

Sadia said only one PSA event throughout the year was not enough for females to get international points and improve their PSA rankings. “We need at least 9 to 10 PSA events to improve our PSA rankings and to maintain it. If the PSF can’t host same amount of PSA events which they arrange for male players, they should at least conduct half of that for females. Playing in front of home crowd will put a new lease of life in us while playing against international females will provide us much-needed exposure and help us in improving our game.”

Sadia said she and Sammer Anjum played in India and Malaysia, which enabled them move into top 100 rankings. “We can easily move into top 50 by the end of this year, if provided with the PSA events. For how long, we could pass on the burden on our parents, instead it is the duty of the federation which must ensure to either arrange the PSA events in Pakistan or else send at least two females alongside male players for the PSA events and international competitions abroad.”

When asked about her reaction when she heard that the female players were not going to feature in the Asian Senior Team Squash Championship in Chinese Taipei despite playing quite well in the last event, where they finish sixth, Sadia replied: “It really hurt a lot. We had trained very hard and spent hours in the courts and despite attending trials and finishing on top in the trials, all of a sudden we were informed that females would not represent the country in this particular event. It is not fair, either the PSF should have not conducted the trials or they should have provided us fair opportunity to represent the country. We were quite strong unit and could have posed serious challenges to our opponents.” She said for the past several months, females were waiting to get call from the federation for attending training camp or a call to join the National Squash Academy. “It is very sad. The PSF had established PNSA only for males and female players were completely ignored. I strongly request the PSF president to provide justice to female players as well. We have passion, will and desire to excel at the top, but for that we need the PSF support and proper backing, as we can’t put entire load of expenditures on our parents, or else we also have to think about our futures.

“One thing is quite certain, I will not move abroad but will continue to request the federation to pay attention towards females and provide us with equal opportunities. I am quite optimistic that Air Chief Sohail Aman will take notice of the situation, being faced by the female squash players and provide us justice,” Sadia concluded.