Apr 122013

KARACHI: The Punjab Squash Association (PSA), currently busy in organising the upcoming Asian Individual Squash Championship, is facing a financial crunch for the mega event because of non-fulfillment of payments by the former Punjab government.

The championship is due to be held in Islamabad from May 1 but the provincial squash body is being forced to take a loan in order to manage the expenses.

The association organised the 2nd Asian Masters Squash Championship in September last year, where former and current greats of the game offered their support for the resumption of international squash in the country.

After the former Punjab government promised paying for the expenses, the PSA spent Rs10 million on the event’s organisation on the assumption that the expenditure would be met. However, the PSA was left chasing the government for the payment.

“The former Punjab government used our event for mere publicity but never fulfilled their promise of reimbursing,” a PSA official told The Express Tribune.

“Shahbaz Sharif, the then chief minister, had pictures taken with various players but we never received payments that were promised.  Now we are facing financial constraints in hosting the upcoming event and have been forced to seek a loan of Rs1.5 million.”

The PSA said that it wrote its first letter seeking the payments, addressed to then Punjab Assembly deputy speaker Rana Mashood, two days after the event finished on September 6.

A copy of that letter was obtained by The Express Tribune and an excerpt read, “The Punjab Squash Association is grateful for your keen patronage. You were kind to make the 2nd Asian Masters Squash Championship 2012 a part of the Punjab Youth Festival and the decision to take ownership of this event will help us. In this regard DG Sports had committed to bail us financially. The association is requiring an amount Rs13, 247,130.”

However, no response to the letter was made, leaving the PSA in deep financial crisis.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2013.

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