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Wednesday February 21, 2024

Saifullah hopes Aisam to hold PTF’s reins tight

February 12, 2024

ISLAMABAD: Asian Tennis Federation’s (ATF) Vice President and outgoing president of the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) Salim Saifullah Khan Sunday said that he had decided against contesting federation’s elections just to provide chances to youth to start playing their role in the game’s promotion.

President Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) Senator Salim Saifullah Khan. — APP/File
President Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) Senator Salim Saifullah Khan. — APP/File

Talking to ‘The News’ following the PTF’s elections that saw Aisamul Haq replacing him, he said the international body had allowed him to contest the elections for the third time.

“I preferred paving the way for the younger generation and there was no better choice than to see Aisam replacing me. The ITF had given me the go-ahead to contest the PTF elections for the third time. I decided against contesting it as I also wanted to set an example for others to follow. Some officials still have been hanging in the federation for the last 13 to 14 years. I decided to quit the top position despite enjoying a good majority of the house. There was no better choice than to see Aisam replacing me as president PTF.”

He added that Aisam could have received more votes had he been present ahead of the PTF elections. “I was busy with my election campaign in Lakki Marwat. I did not have time to concentrate fully on PTF elections.”

Commenting on the financial state of affairs of the federation, Saifullah said when he took over as the president, financially the federation was not going well.

“When I left, financial position of the federation is ten times better than what I inherited. We have brought the Davis Cup back to Pakistan and won the hosting rights against India despite facing all odds. All leading European and Asian countries traveled to Pakistan to figure in Davis Cup ties. We organised a record number of national and international events all these years. The PTF also raised standard of junior tennis to the tone where the outfit qualified to play the World Group for the very first time. Infrastructure development saw a marked improvement. Today the PTF Complex provides the best tennis facilities and clay courts. Even these days over 45 international players belonging to different countries are busy playing ITF Junior International events. So to say that we have kept tennis activities running throughout the year will be no exaggeration.”

Saifullah wished the best of luck to Asiam and other newly-elected PTF office-bearers. “Aisam has vast international exposure and is a well-known figure internationally. I am hopeful that he will use his connections to the best effect to get the best deal for Pakistan tennis. He is capable of that and hopefully, his tenure as president of the PTF would be of immense success. I have ensured that Pakistan officials get their due share at the Asian and ITF level. Now it is up to Aisam to further cement our international presence.