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July 8, 2018

Preparation for Asian Games: Players not happy with facilities provided by PSB


July 8, 2018

KARACHI: National players, who are undergoing training at the Pakistan Sports Complex Islamabad for Asian Games, are not happy with the facilities at the country’s most equipped training centre.

After talking to a few players of different disciplines, this correspondent has learnt that there are no air-conditioners in rooms of the players.

“There is no air-conditioner in our room. It is too hot here and mosquitoes bite us during the night. How can anyone prepare in such a situation?,” a player told ‘The News’ on Saturday.

The players said that they are also unable to properly utilise gym facilities because of the presence of civil people who avail those facilities by paying fee to the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB).

“Hundreds of people, both men and women, come to the gym, which is not too big. How can athletes, who are undergoing training for national duty, work on their fitness issues in the presence of so many people?,” a highly experienced player said.

The players demanded that ahead of any international event, the gym facilities should only be utilised by the athletes.

The players are also not happy with the diet given to them by the PSB.

“The quality of food is extremely bad. We purchase extra food by spending from our own pocket to keep our fitness. It’s really a bad situation,” a player explained.

The Asian Games are slated to be held in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang from August 18 to September 2.

A senior player also added that one could not become a world champion by using such a food which is served to the players by the PSB.

“Players need to be looked after well. What I see here is an ordinary diet which is not enough to keep a player fit and which could enable him to deliver in international circuit. The PSB should revisit its policy. More funds should be allocated to the nutrition area which is the most important,” the player said.

“The issue here is that if we speak, it will create a big problem for us. That is why we are quietly facing such challenges,” a player said.

This correspondent tried to contact a senior official of the PSB but he did not receive the calls.

Most of the national camps for the Asian Games have been set up at the PSB headquarters in the federal capital.

Meanwhile, a senior official of the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) told ‘The News’ on Saturday that the matter of participation of national judokas and cyclists will be decided after the general elections.

“The POA will hold its executive committee meeting after July 25 and the fate of these players for the Asian Games will be decided,” the official said.

The POA has legal issues with judo and cycling federations and the participation of the players of these disciplines in the Asiad is not yet known.

The official added that boarding and lodging charges of Pakistan’s contingent will be deposited by the PSB through State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

The PSB will have to pay fifty dollars per head to the Asian Games organisers as boarding and lodging fee for their contingent.

“It will cost the Board around Rs20 million,” the official said.

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