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The government has not awarded Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Majid yet. -File photo

KARACHI: Despite producing results of par excellence, the Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Federation (PBSF) is facing apathy from the government for quite sometime as far as monetary aspects are concerned.

According to an official communication of the ministry of sports to director general, Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), dated June 30, 2007, Olympic Games/World Cup/World Champions, team or individual, is entitled for a reward of Rs 10 million, but unfortunately there’s no word from the government-run PSB for cueist Mohammad Asif who did the country proud by capturing world amateur snooker title at Sofia, Bulgaria, on Dec 2 last.

Since returning home after crowning the glory, the Faisalabad-based Asif is running from pillar to post to get the pledged money. It was in this backdrop that he could not live up to his reputation in the national snooker championship held at Karachi Gymkhana last month. He was amongst those who also ran in the country’s premier snooker championship.

“Yes, it’s surprising that despite passing of four months neither the player nor the federation has received any word in this regard or appreciation from the PSB or Inter-provincial Coordination Committee (IPCC),” Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Federation (PBSF) president Alamgir Shaikh told Dawn.

Citing example, he said the government spends enormous money on team sport like hockey for just one medal whereas individual sports including snooker even fails to get peanuts.

In addition to the above amount, the then three chief ministers of Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have also announced one million rupees apiece for Asif, but whether he will be able to get it is a big question. The chief ministers have stepped down making room for caretaker government.

Likewise, carrying Pakistan flag high, Mohammad Majid Ali played the final of Asian under-21 snooker championship in the Indian city of Indore where he went down 5-6 to Thai opponent Noppon Saengkham which is no mean achievement.

According to the same policy, Majid is entitled to get Rs 50,000 for securing a silver medal.

The government has been courteous to the PBSF in the past as it has acknowledged the 1994 Johannesburg World Cup feat of cueist Mohammad Yousuf by awarding him a piece of land in Islamabad.

Similarly, the XVI Guangzhou Asian Games snooker bronze medalists (team event) — Imran Shehzad, Sohail Shehzad and Shehram Changezi — were awarded a total of three million rupees.

Pakistan is looking forward to hosting the Asian snooker championship in Karachi later this month. The government should encourage PBSF for staging the spectacle at a time when the foreign countries are not willing to come to Pakistan for security concerns.

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Comments (2) Closed

Apr 14, 2013 01:34pm
The government has promised Rs 10 million for individuals or teams for winning Olympic Games/World Cup. However, the event that Mr. Asif won is "AMATEUR World Snooker Championship". This event did not include many of the top snooker players of the world. Mr. Asif should be happy with the coverage he has received from the media for winning this AMATEUR championship and leave the Rs 10 million as it was not really a world championship.
Apr 15, 2013 06:25am
You are right in stating that top players of world snooker were not there in that tournament but there are many who play professional ranking tournaments and Asif did beat them. I spent an evening with Asf recently and I tell you what he actually needs is a sponsor either government or private to apply and play professional snooker. Simply, he and player like his talent and caliber need money to get into professional circle so that their talent can be fully utilized and they can earn name and fame for the country by winning ranking tournaments.