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Wednesday April 24, 2024

PTF’s controversial elections bodes ill for future of tennis: Hameed

By Our Correspondent
February 26, 2024

KARACHI: Former Davis Cup captain Hameed ul Haq has said that the recently held elections of Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) were marred by illegalities and controversies, which bode ill for the future of the game.

Ex-Davis Cup captain, coach, and former national champion Hameed Ul Haq. — Press Trust of India
Ex-Davis Cup captain, coach, and former national champion Hameed Ul Haq. — Press Trust of India

“The PTF elections were tainted by a controversy right from the start due to a questionable vote,” said Hameed while talking to ‘The News’. He added that the elections were held after an inordinate delay of over a year beyond expiry of the term of the incumbent management which desired to prolong its stay as long as possible.

Hameed said that the elections featured two panels, one led by Major General Asghar Nawaz (retd) and another by Mr Aisam ul Haq. “The election yielded a split result with the panel of former winning two important slots of Secretary General and the Treasurer while Aisam ul Haq could barely secure the slot of President with the narrow margin of one vote which is considered disputed.

“The Chief Election Commissioner Shakeel Durrani, former Chairman WAPDA, presided over the election process and faced a predicament when a candidate raised a serious objection challenging eligibility of the vote of International Lawn Tennis Club (ILTC) Pakistan, an associate member unit of PTF,” said Hameed.

He added that the objections were raised in the light of PTF constitution and it was pointed out that ILTC having defaulted in payment of dues of PTF for last five years falls into status of “expelled member” and hence loses the right to vote.

“The more serious amongst the objections pertained to violation of Article 21-a of PTF constitution according to which only the President of an associate member of PTF or his authorised representative can cast vote.

“The President of ILTC passed away in March 2021, and with no President elected an aged Secretary of ILTC who has been bed ridden for a long time authorised, illegally, a representative to cast vote in elections which is a flagrant violation of PTF constitution,” reasoned Hameed.

The Chief Election Commissioner, he added, after duly acknowledging the objections to be of genuine nature allowed elections process to be continued with the provision that the objections would later be addressed through established rules and for as per the PTF Constitution, in a specially called General Meeting of PTF Council, within ten days.

“He made it clear that the voting results may alter or elections may be held again if the contested vote is found illegal as per PTF Constitution,” said Hameed. He added that another surprising aspect was that observer representative of Pakistan Olympics Association (POA). The parent body of the country’s sports federations was kept out of the crucial first phase of the election proceedings when these objections were discussed with the Chief Election Commissioner.

Hameed said that the PTF’s outgoing management with an obvious bias also tried to give a twist to the matter by incorrect recording of Chief Elections Commissioner’s decisions in the Minutes of Elections, issued on February 17.

“Pakistan Olympics Association and the relevant stakeholders must step in to ensure that the elections are fair,” said Hameed.