ISLAMABAD-Pakistan Soccer Futsal Federation senior vice president Shahid Farooq Malik and Islamabad Futsal Association chairman Sheikh Abdul Waheed and president IFA Irfan Mehsud Friday requested Prime Minister Imran Khan and IPC Minister Dr Fahmida Mirza to help the federation in conducting the First Asian Futsal Championship at Liaqat Gymnasium, Pakistan Sports Complex from December 13th to 16.

Shahid, who is also the chairman of tournament organising committee said six out of top 10 Asian countries-invited have confirmed their participation including India and they had already started work on getting NOCs for all the participating nations. “We have met with Interior State Minister Shahryar Afridi and he has promised he will lend every possible help. We have to spend around Rs13 million as all the participating teams are allowed to bring 15-meber contingent which include 12 players and 3 officials. It means we are expecting around 150 foreign guests and around 100 local players, officials and dignitaries. We haven’t yet received a single penny assurance from anybody, including the PSB and IPC Ministry.”

“We are running from post to pillar to arrange funds and let me assure that even if we fail to get a single penny in sponsorships, we will not back off and will pay from own pockets to let the mega event conduct in befitting manner. We had tried our level best to meet with IPC Minister Dr Fahmida but so far all our efforts failed. But it is our commitment to hold the event and we will do that at any cost. The PSB has promised to allocate accommodation but we have to pay hefty daily charges for Liaqat Gymnasium and also for meal and other expenditures.”

He said Futsal Federation doesn’t have any funds and it is his sole responsibility to arrange funds and conduct the event as teams will start to arrive in Pakistan from 11th of December and the participating nations have already sent their players and officials’ names. Even if India backed off at 11th hour, or NOC is not granted due to prevailing Pakistan-India ties, we will go ahead with the remaining international teams, he added.

“It is not our personal event nor for our personal glory. All are ready to sponsor in cricket, but when it comes to national interest, no one is ready to lend helping hand. The PSB simply hallways has one answer that they don’t have funds. IPC Minister should interfere and her timely help will mean a lot for us. We don’t want money from minister as we want as much help as she could lend her in the shape of allowing the PSB facilities free, accommodation and meal as it will lift a lot of burden from our shoulders,” Shahid concluded.”

While sharing his views Waheed said: “As all know we had worked with PCAPH in 2012 and then formed Pakistan Disabled Sports Association back in 2016, we managed to conduct lot of international and national tournaments and matches for disabled athletes. When Pakistan Futsal Federation Chairman Malik Meherban Ali contacted me and offered me to join hands, seeing the potential of the game in the country, I accepted the role without any hesitation.” He said they won’t back off from their commitment and would hold event even if they had to pay themselves all the expenditures No matter even if we had to contribute to organise the Asian Championship.

Sharing his views Irfan said: “I joined Futsal Federation some six months back. I have plans to create funds to sponsor needy kids, child labour and under age kids will benefit from this. Talent hunt programme will start soon after the championship. Our players are vibrant and passionate about the Asian Championship. Trials will be held on 25th to finalise Pakistan team. We will shortlist 25 players and in case we had to put two teams then we will at least select 40 players, who will train and hopefully lift the title for Pakistan,” he concluded.