Sports: Snooker: PBSA awaits government grants to start its season

Karachi: Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association (PBSA) President Alamgir Sheikh on Tuesday said that PBSA is finding it difficult to keep its domestic and international commitments this year because of financial problems.

“We are in a critical financial situation pertaining to our international participation and maintaining the domestic circuit commitment of paying the monthly player’s honorarium to top eight ranking players and meet our secretariat expenditures,” Alamgir Sheikh said.

“Since July 2013, PBSA has not received any financial assistance from the Pakistan Sports Board till date. Almost seven months have passed and the Annual Special Grants for the year 2013-2014 have not been released to the association and are overdue,” he said.

“The performance of the association and its players are on record since the winning of the IBSF World Title in 2012 in Bulgaria till the winning of the IBSF World Team Championship in Ireland in 2013 and also the Asian 6-Red title in Doha, Qatar in 2013. Our Junior player Muhammad Majid Ali performed well and became the finalist of the IBSF World U-21 Snooker Championship-2013 in China.

“In spite of such extraordinary performances the association till date awaits the release of Special Grants for participation in international events for which the PBSA had to incur the expenses for the participation of Pakistan snooker team from its own resources,” he lamented.

Alamgir said that the association has sent numerous reminders to the Director General, Pakistan Sports Board, Secretary Sports IPC, Minister Sports IPC and the Additional Secretary IPC for the release of the pending Special Grants, but no response has been received regarding the matter.

“Due to the present situation prevailing, it will not possible for us to fulfil our international commitments for this year and participation of the Pakistani cueists in the Asian U-21 and the Asian Snooker Championships in April/May 2014 in India and UAE respectively would not be possible due to financial constraints faced by the association at present,” he stressed.

“We appeal once more to the PSB and IPC to kindly release our pending Special Grants immediately, so that we could start the current snooker season with firm commitment to further promote the game of snooker in Pakistan as well as to fulfil our international commitments for the year 2014,” he added.