-File photo

Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) cut short Irfan Asghar’s controversial term as the secretary of the federation, replacing him with Abdul Wahab Marwat.

Besides being recently banned by the World Squash Federation (WSF), Asghar was highly unpopular among the top squash players of the country.

He was the first Pakistani official to be banned by the world body and perhaps the first official of an affiliated federation to receive such a harsh punishment. It seemed well deserved, experts said, after Asghar accused President of the WSF, N. Ramachandran, an Indian, of bias against Pakistan and later denying any such claims.

Pakistan, once a dominant force in squash through Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan, had experienced a serious slump in fortunes under Irfan, who accompanied the national team to the World Team Championship held in Germany as manager-cum-coach without proper credentials.

Its men’s team finished 22nd out of 32 in the championship in August this year, their worst ever showing. In the aftermath of this showing three of the four players that competed in the event were banned by the PSF for allegedly ‘underperforming deliberately’ and the secretary escaped with only a warning.

The WSF, irked by Asghar’s comments and the bizarre decision taken by Pakistan’s federation to ban the players upon a committee’s recommendation, took note of the situation and banned the official for one year and imposed a fine of 500 pounds on him.

It remains unclear, however, whether the banned players will receive a reprieve now that the controversial secretary is gone.

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