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LAHORE: The Pakistan table tennis team could not leave for Sweden to participate in the World Championships starting there from Sunday, as it wasn’t able to obtain a NOC from the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) till Saturday.

A six-member team, having three men and three women was to leave for Sweden in the wee hours of Thursday but the immigration staff denied its exit raising objection the team is travelling without a NOC of the PSB.

Pakistan Table Tennis Federation (PTTF) secretary Ahmar Malik said as the team could not receive the NOC, though it was not required for the journey, Pakistan would not participate in the said event.

Ahmar said there was no need for any NOC since the PTTF had met all expenses on its own. He said the NOC is required when a PSB-sponsored team goes for international competitions.

He said there were hundreds of examples that the national sports federations had sent their teams to feature in international events, without carrying any NOC from the PSB.

To a question, Ahmar said, the PSB was in better position to reply why the NOC was required in this case, whereas it was not needed in previous many cases.

There are reports that although the fresh body of the PTTF headed by S.M Sibtain has been recognised by the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) since it also has the affiliation of the international body, the PSB has a soft corner for another group.

It may be mentioned that the government of Pakistan had signed an agreement with the IOC at Lausanne in 2015, according to which, only those national sports federations of the Pakistan would be genuine, which would have the affiliation with their international chapters.

Published in Dawn, April 29th, 2018