ISLAMABAD - Emerging squash player Danish Atlas Khan won laurels for the country despite many obstacles he faced while lifting the $5000 First Insurance Squash Open 2013 title in Amman, Jordan.
It was not Danish playing against the Kuwaiti lad Ammar Altamimi in the finals alone but he also faced biased refereeing, hostile crowd and unscrupulous opponents, who continue to enjoy overwhelming help from the referees throughout the event.
The inside sources have confirmed to this scribe on condition of anonymity that the biased refereeing is a very major and common problem players had to face in majority of the PSA events. “It is the duty of World Squash Federation (WSF) to keep a very close check, while appointment of a referee is concern for the PSA events, that is the main reason majority of players don't want to play especially in Kuwait, Malaysia and Amman because they have to suffer mentally and physically at the hands of non-qualified and highly untrained referees.”
“In the past, a number of complaints were lodged with the PSA and world squash governing bodies regarding poor state of refereeing in the international events. This situation is not restricted to only above mentioned countries but it has been prevailing in many others countries as well,” the sources added.
“The poor refereeing has been costing the deserving players dearly and that is the main reason players from these regions has been managing to win only those PSA events, which were held in their home soil and one such example is of Kuwaiti lad Abdullah Almezayen, who although is a very good player and ranked 40 in world rankings, but he hardly manages to win the PSA titles outside his country. The reason is quite simple that home crowd and referees’ unconditional help is good enough for them to lift the title at home soil,” they asserted.
The time is ripe when World Squash Federation (WSF) must take stern and positive action on this issue of grave concern for the players. Instead of appointing below average or not more than average referees, renowned, experienced and capable referees should be installed in the PSA events. Until and unless drastic steps not taken by the WSF, these incidents will continue to happen and prestige and reputation of the world’s squash body will continue to further diminish.
Players like Danish and others somehow manage to win titles through their exceptional abilities and hard work despite all the odds against them but the WSF and other world squash bodies will continue suffer till they finally make a decision in the best interest of the players and squash.
Already too much precious time has been wasted and further delay in this regard will further damage the image of the game which has already been suffering from non-inclusion in the Olympics.