Tuesday October 03, 2023

Judo chiefs to meet PSB officials, demand money

December 09, 2022

KARACHI: A two-member delegation of Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) is set to meet the top brass of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) on Friday (today) in order to discuss some pressing judo matters.

A senior official of the PJF told The News on Thursday that the PJF president Col (retd) Junaid Alam and vice-president Masood Ahmed will meet the PSB top officials in the Board's premises at 11am.

The official said that there are several pressing matters which need to be discussed with the state officials.

The official said that PJF is in debt as it has spent around Rs7 million on various events in the recent past and the federation will try to negotiate with the Board how this issue could be resolved.

The official said that the Mongolia's Grand Slam last summer had cost the PJF Rs2.4 million and the state only reimbursed Rs1 million. And after that the PJF fielded its leading fighters without state help in the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, Grand Prix in Perth and Baku Grand Slam.

The official said if the state is unable to reimburse the said amount then how PJF would field its fighters in the forthcoming international events which all serve as qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

It is pertinent to mention here that judo has a two-year Olympic qualification pathway which started with the event in Mongolia last summer.

Pakistan's leading fighters, the two-time Olympian Shah Hussain and Qaisar Afridi, have entered the qualifiers with the aim to earn Olympics seats.

The PJF official said that they would try to convince the PSB that it was very important to keep the fighters fielding in the qualifiers constantly which is the only way to improve the Olympics rankings and ensure Olympics seats.

Recently, the PJF decided to skip the Tokyo Grand Slam due to financial issues.

The official said that the PJF aims to field its fighters in the Grand Prix to be held in Almada, Portugal, from January 27-29, 2023, and Paris Grand Slam slated to be held from February 4-7 in Paris. From March 3-5, Tashkent will host Grand Slam which is another important event for the Pakistani judokas.

The official said that the federation will also discuss with the Board the future events and Pakistan's Olympics qualifying prospects.

The official said that Iranian coach Sajjad Kazemi's contract matter will also come under discussion.

“Sajjad's six-month contract expired on November 15 and he has now flown back home. On October 18 the PJF held a meeting with the authorities in which senior officials of the PSB, IPC ministry and finance department were present. They pledged that Sajjad Kazemi would stay until the South Asian Games which Pakistan is supposed to host in early 2024,” the official said.

“Later it was learnt that the minutes of the meeting had not been made. The PSB management has also been changed and so far we have not got any green signal from the authorities about Sajjad's contract extension,” the official said.

The official said they direly need the services of Sajjad as he has worked very well on the fighters during his six-month stint with them.

The official said that currently there is no official camp and all leading fighters are undergoing training in their respective clubs.