ISLAMABAD - Pakistan junior snooker team suffered a huge setback as they were denied Romanian visas on Monday.

The junior snooker team comprising M Faheem and Abdul Raheem had to take part in the Junior U-21 World Snooker Championship at Romania commencing from July 17 and they were due to fly to Karachi on Monday to proceed to the event destination, but all of a sudden, they were informed through channels that they were not given Romanian visas. Pakistan Billiard and Snooker Association (PSBA) president Alamghir Sheikh during his interview to certain channels in this regard said: “The players who were busy in practicing for the last one month at the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Billiard and Snooker launch were in complete shatter as they had worked very hard for the mega event.”

It also exposed all the tall claims of the PBSA president as he had promised to give international exposure to juniors. Both the juniors belonging to Sahiwal and Rawalpindi had sent their entries for the event and also sent their passports to the PBSA, but all of a sudden, they were denied Romanian visas without any solid reason.

It is pertinent to mention here that more than 120 junior players from across the globe would be seen in action during the mega event, where Pakistanis were denied chance to showcase their skills. Both the players had earned the right to represent the country through wining and staying runners-up in junior snooker championship, but the PBSA failure to act timely deprived them of representing the country in the mega event.

The sources in the PSB have confirmed to this scribe that if the PBSA contacted the IPC and the PSB in this regard, the issue could have been resolved. “Even now both the players can get visas as Tuesday is working day. If the PBSA still contacts the IPC and the PSB, the visas can be arranged as special case.”

PSB DG Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera told The Nation that it was their responsibility to facilitate the players. “The federations provide the players with grants and we can't help them in arranging visas, as participating in international events is pure discretion of the federation. But in my personal opinion, both the players should take part in the event. It is very important to provide the players international exposure which will help them groom well and earn laurels for the country.”

Despite several attempts made by this scribe to contact PBSA president Alamghir Sheikh, all the efforts went in vain as he neither picked call nor bothered to call back.