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February 11, 2015
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Malik Riaz can help lift Pakistan sports: Saeed Hai

Sports

February 11, 2015

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KARACHI: Knowing that desperate times need desperate measures, Pakistan tennis legend Saeed Hai has urged the government to make business magnate Malik Riaz the “Patron-in-chief” of all sports in the country.
Hai, Pakistan’s most celebrated Davis Cup captain who has played in three Grand Slam tennis tournaments, said that as Patron-in-chief, Riaz’s sole mandate will be to finance sports in Pakistan.
“You can see that sport has been suffering in Pakistan for years and the chief reason is lack of finances,” Hai told ‘The News’ in an interview. “In today’s world you cannot run sports in a professional manner without ample finances and that’s why I believe that it is time that we bring in wealthy philanthropists in Pakistan sports,” he added.
Hai said that though he has never met Riaz, he believed that the real estate tycoon will be the perfect man to boost Pakistan sports as he has the will and resources to take on ambitious new projects.
“Malik Riaz is a real estate developer with enormous resources and that gives him a position from where he can do wonders for Pakistan sports,” said Hai, who is Pakistan tennis’ chief selector and also occupies one of the senior most positions in the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF).
Hai stressed that one of the biggest reasons behind Pakistan’s decline in the world of sports is lack of facilities.
“Take the example of Pakistan tennis. We have so many talented youngsters but not many of them have proper access to facilities which is why we have a dearth of players,” he said.
“Similar is the case of other sports like hockey and squash where we need facilities and modern coaching to start excelling again,” he added.
Hai pointed out that the government is unlikely to provide ample funds to sports which is why we should look towards other avenues.
“The government has more important priorities and I’m sure they will never provide ample funds to Pakistan sports on a

regular basis which is why it is very important for us to bring in businessmen like Malik Riaz who can contribute by providing much-needed finances.”
Hai said that the government should create a position like ‘patron-in-chief’ for national sports and appoint somebody like Riaz Malik so that he can help provide a boost to Pakistan sports.

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