KARACHI: Pakistan's top squash player Aamir Atlas Khan has submitted a formal appeal against the two-year ban imposed on him by Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) and announced he would take the matter to court in the case of a negative outcome.
“There are times when a player cannot perform up to the mark. I was sick and I gave them authentic medical reports and yet they accused me of deliberately losing matches and banned me. This is unjust and therefore I have appealed against the ban,” Khan told PPI.
PSF’s Executive Committee took the decision to ban Khan along with Yasir Butt and Waqar Mehboob after Pakistan flopped at the World Team Championship in Germany. Pakistan ended their campaign in the event at the 22nd spot - the worst ever results for the once proud force in the world of squash.
An inquiry by the PSF ruled that the players underperformed intentionally and stopped short of using the words ‘match-fixing.’
According to regulations, however, the Executive Committee of the PSF does not have the right to take such disciplinary actions and only an autonomously-formed committee could rule on the case.
But Khan remained confident the ban would be overturned.
“Several top seeded players fell in the high-profile Qatar Classic Open against lowly ranked players recently. But no one even talked about their failure or ‘under-performance’. It is because winning and losing is part and parcel of sports,” he said.
The Qatar Classic Open saw favourite Nick Matthew, expected finalist Ramy Ashour and fifth seed Amr Shabana all fall in the first and second rounds of the event.
“If the federation doesn’t consider my appeal and revoke the ban then I would go to the court. I am sure that the court would give a stay on the ban because the federation imposed the ban without following proper modus-operandi, which would go in my favour,” said a confident Khan.
Apart from Khan, Yasir Butt and Waqar Mehboob have also been banned for one year and six-month respectively. Butt and Mehboob have also filed appeals against the ban.
Meanwhile, youngster Nasir Iqbal and former secretary Irfan Asghar, who accompanied the team as manager-cum-coach escaped with a warning initially. But now Irfan has been sacked as secretary and has been replaced by another Abdul Wahab Marwat.
Legendary squash player Jahangir Khan also criticized the federation for banning the players through its executive committee without following proper process.
“PSF Executive Committee would do as they have been told by the top brass therefore there is a high chance that the decision from the members would be biased. If federation has to take disciplinary action then it must form a disciplinary committee for the task. It is the practice followed throughout the world,” Jahangir said.