In a shocking turn of events, Pakistan Sports Board has decided to withdraw the country's badminton squad for the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, citing shuttlers from the nation won't be able to win any medals in the quadrennial event. While Pakistan had named a 4-member badminton team including Tokyo Olympian Mahoor Shahzad, Ghazala Siddique, Murad Ali and Irfan Saeed for the CWG 2022, the decision means they will no longer board the flight to the United Kingdom.
According to the president of the Pakistan Badminton Federation, Wajid Ali, the Badminton contingent was called for a training camp in Lahore and even procured their visas. As per local reports, Ali stated that the players along with their coach attended a 15-day training camp in Lahore for the Games and were all set to leave for Birmingham.
"PSB observed the training sessions of the players and came to a conclusion that players do not stand any chance to win a medal," said Ali.
Local reports have claimed that Pakistan Badminton Federation has now requested PSB to overturn the decision and let players participate in the Games. Responding to the development, Olympian Mahoor Shahzad expressed her displeasure stating PSB's decision is 'quite unfair.'
Taking to Twitter, she wrote, "With utmost anguish, I have to inform you all that Pakistan Badminton Team selected for Commonwealth Games 2022 has been dropped by Pakistan Sports Board (PSB)." She further added: "It's quite unfair on the part of PSB to isolate the only sports at the very last moment when everything was finalized."
PSG director general retired Col Asif Zaman confirmed the development and told local media that finalized list had been set to the Pakistan Olympic Association for the Games. "We will finance the finalized contingent. Not it is up to the Pakistan Olympic Association if they want to add to it, they can but they will to bear the expenses," told reporters.