Based on the recommendation of its Disciplinary and Appeals Committee (DAC), the World Squash Federation (WSF) has suspended the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) secretary, Irfan Asghar from involvement in any WSF event for a period of 12 months from October 7 and also fined him £500 for “bringing both the sport and the Federation into disrepute.”

According to a WSF press release, Mr. Asghar had in an interview to a Pakistan newspaper and a website in July this year, alleged that players from Pakistan could not participate in the World junior individual championship held in Brussels because WSF had delayed release of the visa letters and consequently the Belgium embassy in Islamabad refused to issue visas. The Pakistan official also alleged that the WSF President (Mr. N. Ramachandran) had a role in this development. The DAC took up the matter and sought the views of Mr. Asghar who denied having made any such allegations.

However further enquiries by DAC revealed that the concerned official had spoken to the media and that it was not a “personal statement of a journalist” as he had submitted.

The DAC further established the fact that the request for a letter of support from WSF along with the visa applications of the Pakistan players had come to the world body only on June 24, less than three weeks before the championship.

With regard to the visa applications for the Pakistani players, the DAC established that there was no delay on the part of WSF in releasing the ‘support' letters to go with the applications.

Actually, it noted, the Pakistan federation's request letter was not only late but was also sent to the wrong destination — Germany which was hosting the World men's team championship, an event unrelated to the Brussels championship.

All this had added to the confusion but the DAC was convinced that the “requests were unreasonably late and there must have been doubt whether visas could have been issued prior to the event in any case.”

As regards Mr. Asghar's allegations directed against Mr. Ramachandran, the DAC noted that they were completely unfounded and only brought the sport and the Federation into disrepute.

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