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July 12, 2020

‘Wushu federation hasn’t got any grant for last eight years’

Sports

July 12, 2020

KARACHI: Pakistan Wushu Federation (PWF) has not received either its annual or any special grant from the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) for the last eight years. Wushu is the only martial arts genre in which Pakistan has claimed three medals in the Asian Games.

Syed Maratab Ali Shah claimed bronze in 2006 Doha Asian Games and bronze in 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. Ijaz Ahmed captured silver in 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.

‘The News’ learnt from credible sources that the PSB never mentioned in any of its correspondence with the PWF the reason why the state does not fund the federation despite its consistent performances in international circuit.

It was learnt that a lobby in the PSB is working against the PWF on the behest of a few influential personalities who are very close to the Ministry of IPC.

The sources said that an influential group tried in the past to topple the current PWF set-up but failed. It was learnt that the PSB sponsors wushu fighters in those international competitions which the state takes seriously like South Asian Games and Asian Games.

The sources said that PWF spent around Rs10 million from other sources to ensure its fighters’ presence in Asian Championships and other international events during the last eight years.

“And the expenses on camps are another issue,” the source was quick to add.

The sources said that if wushu fighters had been sent for foreign training ahead of the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia they would have won medals. The country’s top fighter Maaz Khan was unlucky to return empty-handed from Indonesia.

The PWF also organised around four international events without state support during the last eight years. PWF president Malik Iftikhar has his own infrastructure at Lahore along with a commodious hostel which helps him hold camps for all those international events in which state does not sponsor the PWF.

The sources said that Pakistan has 12 fighters who if given state support could touch the world standard. They added that the PWF president, secretary and vice-president meet all the expenses of their fighters during camps and international engagements for which the state does not offer its support.

The sources said that PWF had written letters to PSB and Pakistan Olympic Association to dispel the impression that the federation had been given any annual grant as claimed by the PSB as reported by a newspaper last month.

‘The News’ has learnt that Indian Wushu Federation gets Rs80 million from its government. India sends a heavy contingent to every event and still India is not superior to Pakistan.

The sources said that for the sake of 300-plus fighters working in WAPDA, Army and Police the federation silently tolerates this biased attitude from the PSB and the IPC ministry. “But how long can the PWF keep the sport’s standard high without state support,” the source said.

Pakistan won three gold, four silver and three bronze medals in the 13th South Asian Games held in Nepal last year.