ISLAMABAD - Pakistan boxers could have easily qualified for the London Olympics if the funds were spent on players, Akram Khan stated this during an exclusive interview with the TheNation.
“Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) had allocated and released Rs 15 million to Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) for preparations of London Olympics but the money was misused and utilized somewhere else by the PBF president Doda Khan Bhutto,” claimed PBF secretary Akram Khan.
He said that despite his repeated requests of sending boxers abroad for training, Doda did not pay heed to his request and that let Pakistani boxers down and they failed to qualify for the Olympic boxing competition. The federation was responsible for letting Pakistani boxers down in the qualifying tournament held in Kazakhstan in April.
Pakistan boxer Waseem was the only hope who won two fights but, he too, lost in the quarterfinals and Pakistan failed to book berth, he added.
Akram said that there were few reasons for team’s poor show, first boxers preparations were badly hampered by shifting of camp to Rawalpindi; lack of travel plan for the qualifying tournament in Kazakhstan. Pakistan pugilists reached Kazakhstan at 3am local time and got accommodation at 4:30am while general medical and weighing inn started at 7am to 9am. The boys were not given any rest or time to settle down, he added.
He said Doda Khan purchased Turkish Airline tickets cost Rs 2,30,000 were paid for each ticket and no facility was provided to boxer despite paying such a hefty amount.
“If Doda remains the president of the PBF, then God forbids the future of Pakistan boxers looks bleak. It was my worst mistake to bring Doda as PBF president as his elder brother M Ali Khan Bhutto was my very close friend and on his advice and repeated requests I commit this blunder,” he said.
“The elections of PBF were held in December 2008 in Islamabad under the supervision of the POA and the PSB, we were elected as president and secretary unanimously as the opposing panel withdrew their nominations at the eleventh hour, thus paving the way for us to be elected unopposed, since then Doda had done nothing as far as promotion of boxing or betterment of the players are concerned, instead he plundered the national wealth with both hands,” he said.
“I had requested Doda to at least clear the dues of different vendors in Islamabad who were instrumental in helping us in organizing the Second Shaheed Benazir Bhutto International Boxing Championship, as already almost 6 months had past by, and they are feeling great difficulties, and it is also a matter of great shame for the federation as our reputation is online, but despite several promises made with me to clear the dues, nothing had been done so far, Doda after receiving cheques promised to pay on next one, but all my efforts in this regard fail to bring fruit, and I was left with no other option but to act and stop the payments on the cheque to Doda,” he added.
“My office was ransacked and after breaking the lockers, Doda had taken away some important documents during my absence from my Karachi office, after my return to Karachi I would check all the things and decided my future line of action,” Akram concluded.