Thursday, July 1, 2010

Senate body directs PSB to continue volleyball camp By Imran Ali Teepu

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Sports has directed the Pakistan Sports Board to continue the training camp of national volleyball squad while the latter has closed down the camp saying ‘volleyball’ is not featured in the forthcoming priority event — the Asian Games, Dawn learnt on Tuesday. 

Around 22 players were under the training of Brazilian Coach Agusto Sabatini at Pakistan Sports Complex in preparation for the Asian Games slated to be held in Guanzhou, China, from Nov 12 to 28. 

For the Asian Games 10 disciplines have been recommended, which include snooker, boxing, cricket (men and women), hockey, kabaddi, sailing, squash, weightlifting, wrestling and wushu. 

The NA committee chairman for sports, Iqbal Mohammad Ali Khan from MQM, has written a letter to the Federal Sports Minister Aijaz Hussain Jhakrani, which says: “The volleyball squad is scheduled to participate in two international events before appearing in the Asian Games while professional players like Naseer Ahmed and Kashif Mansoor have the potential to play for Pakistan and bring back the lost glory.” 

Both the professional players have completed a six-month stint with a local Iranian club featuring in the cash-rich volleyball super league. 

“The NA Committee on Sports will highly appreciate the continuation of training camp to save the game from further deterioration,” he noted in the letter. Mr Iqbal asserted: “The training camp should not be stopped at any cost.” 

The chairman of the Pakistan Volleyball Federation, Mohammad Yaqoob, however, asserted: “Pakistan team has won few crucial fixtures against international teams such as Australia, Japan, South Korea and India.” 

Pakistan had the honour of winning a bronze medal during the 1962 Asian Games at Jakarta, Indonesia. 

“We have hired the services of a Brazilian coach besides our camp was also held before the 2006 Asian Games though we did not appear in the event,” he informed. 

The salary of the coach is being shared by PSB and the volleyball federation. 

When approached, the spokesman for the PSB, claimed: “We have received a communication from the Pakistan Olympic Association about sports which are included in Asian Games list and volleyball is not listed. 

If the volleyball camp continues than an audit objection will likely be raised by the audit department because the game is not in the participation list issued by the POA.”
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