KARACHI: A day after head coach Jamshed Gul pleaded to the government to inject money into squash in order to revive the dying sport, Pakistan’s number two Farhan Mehboob blamed politics as another major factor contributing to its downfall.
Gul, who has previously worked with the Pakistani players, would have taken the country’s players into the top-10 had he not been sidelined, according to Mehboob.
“There’s poisonous politics in squash, which has hurt us badly,” Mehboob told The Express Tribune. “Gul was doing well but he was sidelined which prompted him to work with the Malaysians and the results are in front of everybody. Even players have been mentally tortured by the federation in the past.”
The result, added the player, was that whoever spoke out against the wrong policies of the federation was either banned or fined and that the facilities were snatched from those players who failed to perform well.
The Peshawar-born athlete revealed that the federation refused to buy tickets for a player if the desired results were not produced.
“Every single event I have played in the last two years, I’ve paid for the tickets and covered other expenses myself. At times, a single tournament in Europe costs us Rs300,000 but luckily I’ve been able to recover the amount by winning. I would’ve hung up my boots two years ago if I had failed to do so.”
Meanwhile, Mehboob, 58th in world rankings, remained optimistic that Gul will bring better results for Pakistan. The coach confirmed that Mehboob had the potential to step up in the absence of Pakistan’s top-ranked Aamir Atlas and only has to work on his fitness to do well in the Asian events.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2012.
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