ISLAMABAD             -          Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) President Salim Saifullah Khan hosted a reception in honour of the national tennis team members, who had won medals in the recently-concluded 13th South Asian Games, here at Senator Dilawar Abbas, PTF Complex on Saturday. Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani was also present during the reception. While sharing his views, Saifullah said: “I want to congratulate Aqeel and others for their wonderful performance in Nepal. Their performance was more than satisfactory despite the fact that they had trained for a very short time. We had to send our junior players to Kazakhstan for the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group-I tie against India due to international commitments, as India had refused to come and play in Islamabad. Our juniors played like lions and fought with top class Indian players.

Saifullah also lashed out at the government and especially NAB for only conducting inquires everywhere. He said: “Only inquiries are going on in the country, as no one is caring about sports, which is declining at a fast pace. Everybody wants us to win gold medals and produce world class players, but nobody is aware about the financial situation of the federations. Annual grants were allocated to all the federations in the past, but now we are not receiving these grants from last two years. As sports player-turned politician had taken over the reins of the country, we were expecting that level of sports and athletes will improve, but we are highly disappointed with the situation. Ahsan Iqbal had done a brilliant job by constructing Narowal Sports Complex with more than Rs 2.5 billion, but now inquiries are going on regarding the project. I request Prime Minister Imran Khan to hand over Narowal Sports Complex to Punjab, as it will help the athletes. We also conduct inquiries and sack guilty employees, but our system does not stop.”

While sharing his views, IPC Secretary Akbar Durrani said: “He was present in almost all the venues in Nepal. I appreciate the SAG organisers, as they treated us like their own contingent and won millions of hearts. We will present a detailed report to the Prime Minister. We know the sources for generating revenues. We will provide long training camps to our athletes, as IPC Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza had promised to take every step for the future of the national athletes. I have witnessed that our athletes are capable of defeating any given international athlete, but they just need exposure of international events. We will provide the exposure and completely transform them. We are ready to host next SAG in Pakistan. We will develop our infrastructure and take it at par with others.”