ISLAMABAD - The Punjab Squash Association (PSA)'s delaying tactics could cost Pakistan dearly, as the association finally released remaining two junior players on Monday after wasting precious days.

The sources informed The Nation on Monday that Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) had requested the PSA to send players for the national camp in Islamabad for the World Junior Team Squash Championship starting from September 8 in Namibia. First, the PSA refused to send players to Islamabad and instead decided to conduct camp in Lahore under Punjab coach Gogi Allauddin, but after strong reaction from the PSF, the PSA sent two players Asim Khan and Israr Ahmed to join the camp.

“The federation kept on requesting the PSA to send remaining players, who hold key to Pakistan ambitions of winning the World Junior title, as Pakistan chances rest heavily on shoulders of Tayyab Aslam and Syed Ali Bokhari. The PSA finally agreed to release players on July 11, but that promise too failed to materialize. After some heated exchange, Tayyab and Ali reported to national head coach Jamshed Gul and Faheem Gul on Monday,” the sources added.

“After failing to persuade the federation to allow players to train in Punjab, the PSA demanded the PSF to send Gogi as head coach with the world junior team, as they claimed all the players representing the country are from Punjab. First of all, this is very childish argument and totally unacceptable, as they are not Punjab boys but they are Pakistanis and representing the country not a certain province. If one agrees with the PSA demand, then every other province, having one or two players’ representation, can demand same from the federation. Secondly, the PSA totally ignored the fact that Ali and Tayyab have not been trained under Gogi, Tayyab is training with his uncle Abdul Rasheed and Ali is also training with his private coach,” they added.

The sources revealed that every country had been taking it seriously. In case, the federation melts down under the PSA pressure, it will be disaster for Pakistan team, as Gogi doesn’t have that knowledge and international relations so it will be impossible for him to communicate. “The PSF must shun double standards and think in the larger interest of the country, rather than bowing down to unwanted pressure. The PSF must stamp out their authority and made it clear to not only the PSA but to other associations as well, it is the federation who dictate terms and not going to take any dictation.

Earlier, PSF secretary Group Captain Amir Nawaz had made it clear only national coach would go with national team. Now all of a sudden why the federation once again changed their stance and thinking about Gogi and others?

The time is ripe when PSF president Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt should take serious notice of the situation and instead of relying on senior vice president, who hardly have any time spare from his busy schedule and empower secretary Amir Nawaz, who can handle the situation, if given full authority. The president's timely action can save Pakistan blushes in the prestigious event, otherwise it will be a lost cause.

The sources also confirmed to this scribe that the PSA has at the eleventh hour refused to organise $10,000 event in Punjab, as their title sponsor SNGPL has backed off from conducting the event. Now the PSF is in a fix as either they have to cancel the event they have to bear all the expenses, which under the current scenario, will be additional burden for it.

Meanwhile, when this scribe contacted PSF secretary Amir Nawaz to seek his comments about the prevailing situation, he said: “We will decide who will accompany the players as coach in the World Junior Team Championship. Yes, SNGPL has backed off and now the PSA has informed us. The $10,000 event will be held in Islamabad next month and we have sufficient funds. The players have reported along with senior players Farhan Mehboob and Aamir Atlas Khan and we still have lot of time to prepare for World Junior Team Squash Championship.”