Flight cancellations deprive Pakistan of participation in Asian boxing

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LAHORE: The cancellation of four flights from Lahore to Dubai on Saturday-Sunday prevented Pakistan from participating in the Asian Boxing Championship, which began in Dubai on Monday.

Talking to Dawn, Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) secretary Col Nasir said that a contingent of nine boxers — seven men and two women — were to represent the country at the continental event. The PBF in this regard had booked four flights, one after another on Qatar and Emirates Airways from Saturday to Sunday, but all of them were later cancelled and the Pakistan boxing squad could not fly to Dubai.

The PBF, he said, had sought the permission from UAE immigration authorities to clear the boxers upon their arrival in the Emirates, adding all of them had been vaccinated for Covid-19 and tested negative.

Col Nasir further said the Pakistan pugilists had the chance of winning some medals in the UAE event, underlining many of them had earned medals at the 2019 South Asian Games held in Nepal.

“It is bad luck that our boxers missed the chance to appear in one of the best events of Asia for which they prepared well during the training camp,” the PBF secretary regretted.

The boxers who were to compete in the Asian event included Mohammad Saeed (48kg), Mohibullah (60kg), Suleman Baloch (64kg), Aamir Khan (69kg), Saif-ul-Manan (75kg), Mohammad Ajmal (81kg), Sanaullah (91kg), Rimsha Ghaffar (51kg) and Rukhsana Parveen (60kg).

Mohammad Tariq (head coach), Qamar Shaheen (coach), Mohammad Musharraf Khan (manager) and Mohammad Asghar Baloch (NF official) were the officials of Pakistan’s contingent.