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Champion Waseem dejected, seeks financial patronisation

Champion Waseem dejected, seeks financial patronisation

ISLAMABAD: Regretting complete indifference shown by national sports authorities towards his achievement, Pakistan’s new boxing sensation Mohammad Waseem has appealed to the government and corporate sector to patronise him for his further progress.

The 28-year-old Waseem, who became the country’s first boxer to win the World Boxing Council (WBC) silver flyweight title defeating Jether Oliva of the Philippines in Seoul last month, on Monday explicitly expressed dejection for not receiving any recognition from the government’s sports authorities.

“No one from the ministry of Inter-provincial Coordination and the Pakistan Sports Board [even] bothered to recognise my victory,” lamented Waseem while addressing a news conference here.

The Quetta-based boxer revealed that despite making several attempts, he could not meet PSB director general Dr Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera.

“I was told by the staff of DG that he is not in office,” Waseem said.

In an earnest appeal, the newly-crowned champion urged the federal government, PSB and multi-national companies to sponsor him in order to help him prepare for this year’s world championship, likely to be held in Las Vegas.

According to Waseem, he needed Rs30 million assistance in order to compete with Nicaragua’s Roman Gonzalez in his next fight in November in the US.

“The financial help [from government and sponsors] will not only help me achieve personal glory, but also earn a good name for my country,” he stated.

Waseem revealed that he had won three professional fights in Korea and became a champion there. Andy Kim, a Korean promoter, had been sponsoring him and bearing all his expenses.

“I’m a Pakistani, not Korean; [so] why is my government not providing me the required patronage?” he wondered and added that Korea had offered him nationality but he would not accept it.

“Come what may, whether or not they [government] support me I will always represent Pakistan at international level,” he pledged.

Due to poor planning and rampant corruption in the entire sports sector, no Pakistani could qualify directly for the Rio Olympics, regretted Waseem.

“It’s a very painful situation, indeed,” Waseem said. “I will try my best to change this gloomy scenario.”

Published in Dawn, August 2nd, 2016

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