Pak team departs to Czech Republic for ITF World Jrs finals

ISLAMABAD (APP): The 14U boy’s team has departed to the Czech Republic for participation in the ITF World Juniors Finals, being held from August 7-12.
According to President Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF), Salim Saifullah Khan in a statement said, “It is extremely challenging until the last minute of the ITF deadline to confirm Pakistan’s participation.”
After all required documents were received from the ITF, the PTF initiated contact with the Czech Embassy in Islamabad in mid-June, to seek an appointment for submitting applications. Despite several reminders, the appointment wasn’t provided, at which point efforts were raised at the highest levels, he added.
“I thank the Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC), especially the minister, for his all-out help, through our Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the Pakistan Ambassador in Prague, to seek visas for the contingent.”
He said, “Unfortunately, due to their procedures, the Czech Embassy is unable to accommodate our continued requests.” My gratitude to ITF Officials and the Czech Tennis Association for their assistance and understanding as, along with my personal endeavours here, they approached the relevant government officials in Prague, he added.
“We will be protesting to ITF on the unprofessional attitude of the Czech Embassy, especially since Pakistan Davis Cup teams were given Schengen visas twice for Austria and Lithuania in the last eight months or so. ”
Khan said, “Pakistan’s participation in this important event was of paramount importance. It is disappointing for me and everyone else involved that two of our leading 14U players, Abubakar Talha and Hamza Roman, instrumental in our securing one of the three berths from Asia, as well as the earlier captain Heera Ashiq, are not granted visas, despite concerted efforts of all.”
“While this was most unfortunate, the major consolation one can offer to them is that there are times when the Nation and our Flag must be put before individuals, and this was such a time! With the ITF deadline in its last 24 hours, the only way to ensure the country’s attendance was to have players who could travel to Europe without seeking a fresh visa.”
With no other options available, we had to select two players and an ITF-qualified Coach to complete the contingent, he added. “Luckily, 2 juniors who were next in line after the trials, qualified for travel, and that is how we ended up with a contingent acceptable to the ITF.” He said, “The team now includes Captain/Coach Zain Nawab, and players Nabeel Qayum, Amir Mazari, and Samer Zaman.” “The ITF event is scheduled to be held in Postejov, Czech Republic. Abubakr and Hamza will be missed, and PTF extends its best wishes to the youngsters who would be representing the country,” he concluded.