ISLAMABAD - Dirty tricks of head referee Faheem Gul and his allies cost Farhan Mehboob dearly as he lost against Nasir Iqbal 3-0 in the $15,000 Challenger 15 11th Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Squash Championship semifinal at Roshan Khan Jahangir Khan Squash Complex, Karachi on Monday.

Danish Atlas proved too hot for Sh Saqib, as he brushed aside Saqib 3-0 in 40 minutes in the second semifinal. The highly-placed sources present at the venue confirmed to this scribe chief referee Faheem Gul along with other referees had a detailed meeting before the first semifinal between Nasir and Farhan, as it was the federation’s reputation on stake, in case of Farhan's victory, which was very much on the cards. The federation was left red faced, as their blessed child Farhan Zaman had already knocked out at the very first hurdle and things were not looking good for Nasir as well.

In the meeting, it was decided to not to utilize the air conditioner of the court deliberately according to the PSA rules, which hampered Farhan's natural game, as ball was bouncing too much and the court was very hot. The sources confirmed that even Nasir Iqbal's brother Tahir also accepted temperature of the court was not playable, but it looked a well-written script on which Faheem and company remained highly successful.

Farhan Mehboob launched complaint about the ever rising temperature, but no heed was paid and the first game started. It was a close encounter witnessed in the first game before Nasir took it 11-7. As all know, Farhan is a hot head customer and it is very easy to intimidate him, so he continued to lose temper as court environment was clearly against him and his natural game was suffering badly. Nasir fully utilized the situation and took the second game 11-4. The same was the situation in the third game as Nasir took it 11-6, thus took revenge from Farhan for his loss in the Peshawar event, but it was not a well-earned victory, rather things were manipulated in Nasir's favour. These favors could be taken with the support of local referees, but in reality, it is a very dangerous ploy and always effects players whenever they play in the PSA events, as there is no one who could favour them and players bow out at early stages. The federation must ensure and provide free and fair opportunities or else it makes no sense of conducting these events.

In the second semifinal, Danish Atlas took sweet revenge of his injured brother Aamir Atlas loss against Sh Saqib. Danish won the first game 11-4, and second 11-8. The third game was played on a very high tempo and after a tough battle, Danish finally prevailed and took the game 12-10 to set final meeting with top seed Nasir Iqbal.

It is hoped that the federation must take notice of what happened during Farhan and Nasir match and will ensure fair play. Hopes are very slim from current secretary who always put his ego ahead of the country and national interest, but the organisers must interfere or Tahir Khanzada, who claims himself the best referee of the country, must wake up and ensure justice, just like he did in the recently-concluded Bahria Town International Squash final, where he was the referee in the final and no one had any complaints regarding refereeing. The biased persons has destroyed Pakistan squash, and if they continue with same policies with the active backing of the federation, they may succeed in reaping benefits for their blue-eyed persons but it will be a great loss for the country as such dirty tricks don’t work at PSA events abroad. It is hoped the federation will use commonsense and justice will be provided to the players.