Pakistan to miss world junior squash after players refused visa

July 12th, 2011 - 9:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, July 12 (IANS) Former champions Pakistan will not feature in the 2011 World Men’s Junior Squash Championships getting underway in Belgium Wednesday after the Belgian embassy in Islamabad refused to grant visas to their players.

Due to the visa setback, Pakistan was forced to withdraw from the event that will take place at the Flemish Squash Center in Herentals July 13-17.

“Our visa applications were rejected by the Belgian officials,” one of the Pakistan team players was quoted as saying by The News Tuesday. “I am really heartbroken,” said the youngster.

No official from the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) was available to comment on the latest setback to have hit the sport in the country.

It is a huge blow for the Pakistanis, who were looking to regain their lost glory in the event that will feature top junior squash players from around the globe.

Pakistan was hoping to win the title in Belgium, something which head coach Jansher Khan believed would put the country’s squash back on track.

Led by reigning world junior champion Amr Khalid Khalifa, Egypt will be the team to beat in the championships. The Egyptians are now expected to get a cakewalk to the title in the absence of Pakistan. The Pakistanis would have provided the two 3/4 seeds had they been playing in the event. Danish Atlas Khan and Nasir Iqbal, both 17-year-olds from Peshawar, were supposed to lead Pakistan’s title campaign in the mega event.

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