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April 22, 2019

Inam misses Asian Wrestling C’ships due to financial issues

Sports

April 22, 2019

KARACHI: Lack of state support for the last eight months has been affecting Pakistan’s top athletes. And the country’s premier wrestler Mohammad Inam is the latest casualty as he will not be able to feature in the Asian Wrestling Championships due to financial issues. The event begins in Xian, China, from Tuesday (tomorrow).

“Yes, we are unable to send Inam to China due to financial issues,” Pakistan Wrestling Federation’s (PWF) secretary Arshad Sattar confirmed it to ‘The News’ on Sunday.

He said that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government should realise that without state funding leading athletes would, particularly, suffer. “You know since taking charge this government has done nothing for sports. The stance of the federal government not to assist the federations financially is affecting the country’s leading athletes who are missing international events which are very important for the country and for them,” Arshad said.

“The federations deposit huge annual fee with international federations and the state should at least give that money to the federations. At least those federations whose athletes have been winning medals in international circuit should be supported by the government,” Arshad said. “There are no camps and we don’t know what will happen in future,” he added.

Inam also told ‘The News’ that he was not going to China because of lack of funds. Inam, who recently returned from Switzerland after attending International Athletes Forum (IAF) in Lausanne as chairman of the athletes commission of Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), has been the most productive athlete of Pakistan during the last few years. Staying away from vital events because of economic issues would damage his dreams of qualifying for the 2020 Olympics.

A few years ago also, Pakistan missed the continental event due to financial issues. Arshad also revealed that despite having won two successive titles at the World Beach Wrestling Championships, Inam would have to play in the qualifiers for the World Beach Games slated to be held in San Diego, United States, from October 9-15, 2019.

“The world body (UWW) has told us that even the world champions will have to feature in the qualifiers. Out of two events it is compulsory to feature in at least one qualifying round. We missed the first held in Portugal recently due to visa issue. We are applying for the next qualifier to be held in Brazil from May 7. I am very much confident that Inam will make it to the World Beach Games,” Arshad said.

Inam, two-time world beach champion and two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist, will start tough training for his next task in a few days. Wrestling has been the most productive of sports disciplines for Pakistan during the last few years despite the fact that the leading grapplers have not been given ample training opportunities on foreign soil which is very important for pulling off desired results. Recently a media group promised to send Inam to Russia for training ahead of the Olympic qualifiers but it failed to keep its promise.

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