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imageLAHORE: Pakistan will not take part in the Asian boxing championship being held from August 25 in Thailand due to paucity of funds and lack of interest by concerned quarters to finance team's tour.

"Our participation in the event which is the first qualifying round of the Rio Olympics is not possible as we are short of funds and Pakistan Sports Board has not extended any financial support despite our repeated requests", said Secretary, Pakistan Boxing Federation, Iqbal Hussain while talking to APP here on Monday.

He said PBF wrote a number of letters to PSB for providing financial support for the trip of 12-member boxing party comprising nine boxers and three officials. So far they have not received any reply from them, he added.

"August 15 is the last date to confirm teams participation and its travel plan but we are not sure of our team's participation in the event as we have not received any positive reply from PSB", said PBF official.

" After Pakistan hockey, boxing is the only hope for participation in Olympic. If we don't take part in the Asian championship our hopes are lost for our possible qualification for the second qualifying round for Olympics which is the World Championship to be held in Qatar in October", he asserted.

"Our boxers have the necessary experience and talent to qualify for the Olympics given the fact that they have performed at a higher level in the international events including Asian championships in the past", he said.

"It will be very unfortunate if the team does not take part in the Asian competition", said PBF official.

Iqbal Hussain claimed that PBF did not receive any grant or fund from PSB during the past two and a half year and it ensured the participation of the team in major international events from its own resources.

"We appeal to PSB to look into this matter on priority basis and provide necessary funds for the participation of the team in the Asian championship. We also hope that the concerned quarters will give due consideration to our request in the larger interest of national sports", he maintained.

PBF secretary said if PSB would shoulder the team's trip to Bangkok they will provide daily allowance to the boxers and will also meet their other expenses from their own resources. However, he added that buying the air tickets for the team was not possible for them due to shortage of funds.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

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