Islamabad: Over half of Pakistan Tennis Federation’s (PTF) units out of a total 14 have become dead, thus affecting the overall performance of the national body.
Currently, all the four provinces, three armed forces, Pakistan Railways, Islamabad Tennis Association (ITA), Patron Tennis Association, Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) Wah, Higher Education Commission (HEC), WAPDA and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) are the affiliated units of the PTF.
But out of these only Punjab, Sindh, Pakistan Army, PAF, ITA and Patron Tennis Association are functional, while the remaining have become totally inactive.
Some of these units have even failed to organise an event for the past fifteen to twenty years, although as per PTF rules each affiliated unit is bound to hold one national and one local tennis tournament every year besides holding a coaching camp.
Balochistan and Khyberpakhtunkhwa for example have been dormant since 1985 and 1990, respectively, while Railways has failed to produce an outfit to represent it at the national level.
“We have been writing letters to them and issued a two months warning to them some four months back besides seeking an explanation but most of them even did not bother to respond,” PTF’s Senior Vice President Arshad Ahmed Bhatti told APP.
He said that the federation would soon hold its maiden PTF Council Members Tournament where all the council members would be asked to field their teams for the event.
He said the event would be organised every year adding, “it will help activate the dead units.”
He said the federation was also considering to raise the number of its council members to 50 by involving the private sector.
He said that five to six private companies had already contacted the federation to get PTF’s council membership.
Bhatti said that the ‘dead unit mafia’, ‘parents’ mafia’ and ‘former players mafia’ were creating a host of troubles for the federation, while the attitude of International Tennis Federation (ITF) was also not fair.
“The ITF is not holding any event in Pakistan on the pretext of security concerns. But the reality is that it is only arranging tournaments in developed countries and depriving the developing nations of their right,” he insisted.
He said that the PTF was meagerly supported by the government and it funds were mostly generated through sponsorship and advertisement.
He said that the PTF was planning to set up recreational facilities like swimming pools, lounge and retiring rooms for players at the Pakistan Tennis Complex, Islamabad.
He said that the second phase of School Tennis hunt Programme would start soon in which around 100 youth would be selected from across the country.
“The game of tennis is gaining popularity in Pakistan, particularly after Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi won laurels on the international stage.”