Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI) has finally bowed down to government’s objections. The federation on Monday called of its proposed visit to Pakistan. The tournament was to be held in Karachi and the Sports ministry had threatened the federation with a ban if it went ahead with the planned visit.
The tour came under the government scanner after an explosion rocked the Pakistani city on Sunday which claimed 48 lives. The tour was scheduled to be held from March 7th to 10th and all the necessary preparations had been made as per the information shared by an spokesman of the federation.
However, secretary of sports Mr.. PK Deb had something else to pint out too. He said that it was mandatory that for any overseas trip and that too to countries as Pakistan required approval from three separate ministries including home affairs, external affairs and sports ministry. He pointed out that federations who do not adhere to these rules will face a potential ban and will be putting the federation’s future and that of its players at risk.
The president of the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI), Captain PVK Mohan told the media person that the federation has been advised by the sports ministry not to send the team as of now. He pointed out that sports ministry has pointed out that in case the event is postponed by a few weeks, the ministry will be taking a considerate view of the federations claims.
The sports secretary however pained out another story. He claimed that when it was mandatory for any federation to take clearance from three ministries before heading to a tour of Pakistan, he did not understand the reason as to why the federation ignored this condition. He claimed that a standard procedure is in practice when it comes to heading to Pakistan. However, the federation has ignored this mandatory procedure and has landed itself in the unnecessary controversy.
Four players including Brijesh Damani, Kamal Chawla, Lucky Vatnani and Rafath Habib had been picked up by the federation to represent the country in the event that would have signaled the resumption of ties after eight long years when it came to snooker.
The players had been issued visas on Monday and were scheduled to leave for Pakistan on March 6th. The Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Federation has been informed about the proposed cancellation of the tour. This cancellation at last moment has put the Pakistani federation too at unnecessary trouble as all the necessary arrangements for conducting the tournament had been made at their end.
However, Deb pointed out that the Government had only followed the established practice and in case the federation headed to Pakistan without obtaining the necessary clearances, it would have faced a certain ban. This would have put the future of the federation at risk and would also have spoiled the future prospects for the players too who were keen to represent India at an international platform.