PSB springs into action to stop departure of chess team to Azerbaijan

Islamabad—Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) has refused to issue No Objection Certificates (NOC) to a 15-member chess team and two officials to feature in an international event, taking place in Azerbaijan, early next month.
The 42nd Chess Olympiad will roll into action at Baku Crystal Hall, Azerbaijan from September 1 to 14.
“Yes, we have refused to issue NOCs to around 15 men and women chess players and two officials as currently no chess federation is recognized by us. Issuing them NOCs will mean we’ve accepted an illegal body,” a top PSB official told APP on Tuesday.
He said that the board had decided to take help from FIA to stop chess players and officials to leave the country for featuring in the international event.
The official informed that and individual, Muhammad Wasif Nazir, who claims himself as the Secretary of Chess Federation of Pakistan had written a letter to Secretary Ministry of Inter- provincial Coordination (IPC) Raja Muhammad Nadir Ali, seeking NOCs for participation in the international event.
“After receiving the letter, Secretary IPC directed the PSB to look into the matter. Upon which, Acting Director General PSB Syed Habib Shah told the ministry that a group led by Peshawar’s Abdus Salam, who claims himself as the President of Chess Federation of Pakistan and Karachi’s Wasif Nazir, who claims himself as its secretary wanted to leave along with a chess team illegally,” he said.
Habib Shah explained that the group had no affiliation with the PSB and it had also not got any clearance from the interior and foreign ministries to chip in the event.
“The Acting DG in a letter has also requested IPC Ministry to contact Interior Ministry to stop the said chess team and officials from departing to Azerbaijan,” he said.
The official also said that at present there were three groups, including the one mention above, who claim themselves as office-bearers of Chess Federation of Pakistan but none of them was recognized by the PSB.
“We’ve issued directions to hold federation’s elections and will only recognize an elected body,” the official maintained.—APP