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Friday Aug 05 2022
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Is PSB stealing credit for Commonwealth Games 2022 medals?

Pakistani athletes participating in Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2022 represent their country flag (L) and Pakistan Sports Board (PSB)s Director General Colonel (Retd) Asif Zaman. — Twitter/File
Pakistani athletes participating in Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2022 represent their country flag (L) and Pakistan Sports Board (PSB)'s Director General Colonel (Retd) Asif Zaman. — Twitter/File

BIRMINGHAM: Following good performance in select few games at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2022, Pakistan Sports Board (PSB)'s Director General Colonel (retd) Asif Zaman took complete credit for preparing weightlifter Nooh Dastagir Butt and Judoka Hussain Shah for the event.

In a video message soon after Nooh bagged Gold and Hussain won bronze in CWG 2022, PSB released a video of its DG in which he not only announced cash prizes for the medalists but also took full credit for this achievement.

"We arranged one-year-long training camps and hired foreign coaches for our athletes," Zaman claimed.

However, gold medalist Nooh and his younger brother Hanzalah Dastagir Butt credited their father Ghulam Dastagir Butt in all of their interviews. The two weightlifters reiterated that they trained in a gym facility at their home under the supervision of their father.

PSB banned Pakistan Weightlifting Federation (PWF) a day after Nooh won the first gold for the country. As per the PSB statement, PWF was involved in serious irregularities in its functioning, corrupt practices, and violation of the anti-doping code.

But, on the other hand, PWF's high officials are board members of PSB.

It's not something new Pakistan sports authorities take credit after athletes win medals in international competitions. This is the same PSB that pulled out the badminton team from Pakistan's contingent for CWG 2022 at the eleventh hour, citing a lack of funds.

Later on, PSB chief Zaman was named deputy chief de-mission for the CWG 2022. If there was a shortage of funds then how did officials book their spots for the Birmingham trip?

Not only Zaman but heads and high officials of several national federations reached Birmingham for a joy trip, such as Khalid Sajjad Khokhar — president of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF). 

The PHF president reached Birmingham alongside his team but the federation didn't have money to pay the team's head coach Siegfried Aikman — his first salary and match allowance to players.

This is how sports run in Pakistan — take credit for achievements but do nothing at the time of preparations.