KARACHI: Pakistan Archery Federation (PAF) has unilaterally picked three Archers for the upcoming 22nd Asian Archery Championship 2021, without conducting open trials, it has been revealed.
According to a notification issued by the federation, a copy of which is available with MM News, Hafiz Abdur Rehman (Pakistan WAPDA), Usama Mustafa (Pakistan Police), and Nadeem Ahmed (Pakistan Army) have been selected for the competition.
The notification further stated that the PAF was suffering financial constraints. “We don’t get funds from Pakistan Sports Board (PSB). We, therefore, request you to sponsor your departmental player to enable them to join the competition,” it added.
When contacted in this regard by MM News, PAF Secretary-General Zulfiqar Ali Butt stated due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the federation wasn’t able to conduct an open trial for selecting players.
When asked why the above-mentioned players were selected, the Secretary-General asserted that the players were selected on the basis of their performance in the 33rd National Games of Pakistan 2019.
However, Zulfiqar Ali Butt said, it wasn’t confirmed yet whether the players are travelling to Bangladesh for the Asian Championship as “the federation is suffering from financial crisis”
In response to another question regarding selection, Zulfiqar Ali Butt asserted that if any player in the country wanted to participate in international tournaments, the player must be registered to their respective regional archery body.
Meanwhile, former national Archer and international certified Archery coach Hassan Abdullah said that the Pakistan Archery Federation did not conduct an open trial deliberately and compromised the selection criteria, accusing the federation of not giving chance to other archers.
In response to the regional registration process, Hassan Abdullah claimed that his students had visited Sindh Archery Association for registration and sent several emails. “However, the association didn’t respond to the emails,” he added.
Hassan Abdullah, who also chairs Quaid-e-Azam Archery Development and Welfare Association, said that if PAF wasn’t able to support players, his association would support players financially to encourage Pakistan’s Archers.