KARACHI: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani wasted no time in announcing huge cash rewards for athletes who won medals at the Asian Games last year but, almost twelve months down the line, those promises have still not been fulfilled.
Several athletes, including the hockey team, were promised hefty awards after their good show in the Asian Games. However, according to the information received, a part of the promised rewards has been distributed which, in the case of many athletes, is less than half the amount promised, thus forcing them to raise their voices against the delay.
The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) President Qasim Zia said that disbursement of the promised rewards was the responsibility of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) while the Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association (PBSA) requested the prime minister to release the promised incentives as soon as possible.
“Cash award amounting to Rs 3 million had been announced for our players who won bronze,” said the PBSA in a media release. “The cueists received half the amount but the remaining is still missing.
“Announcements of this nature should be fulfilled as it gives our players the incentive to go a long way in promoting snooker in the country.”
However, according to a PSB official, the remaining amount of the announced rewards was yet to be released by the finance ministry and that was the reason behind the non-payment of athletes’ dues.
“The amount is yet to be released by the ministry and we will distribute the amount as soon as we receive it from the finance ministry.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2011.