CHITRAL: The Chitral Polo Association, consisting of four civilian teams, on Tuesday announced to boycott the Shandur festival 2019 against DC lower Chitral’s unilateral decision to drop Shahzada Sikendar from the team.
The decision was announced at a press conference by association president and Chitral A team captain Shahzada Sikendarul Mulk and members of the selection committee as well as the players.
They said Chitral’s elected representatives should support them against the unilateral decision of the DC and should not attend the three-day festival starting from July 7.
Five of the eight members of the selection committee were present on the occasion. They were: Subedar Major retired Zafar Ali Shah, Sub Maj retired Faqir Muhammad, Muhammad Azam, Abdullah Jan and Nasir Ali.
The committee members rejected the selection of A and B teams and said it was in violation of rules of polo in Chitral.
They said that this year the selection committee was not allowed to select the players for the A and B teams of Chitral and instead the DC picked the names.
The DC not only unceremoniously removed polo veteran Shahzada Sikendarul Mulk from captaincy but also dropped his name from the list of players due to his personal grudge.
This is not only an insult to the polo association but also to the whole nation of Chitral, which would not be tolerated, they added.
They also demanded the transfer of the DC.
Speaking on the occasion, Shahzada Sikendar said that his name as the captain of the Chitral A team was approved at a meeting held at the Chiral Scouts headquarters in the presence of officials concerned. However, later, the DC dropped his name not only as the captain but also as a player.
He said the DC’s acrimony with him started when a cheque for Rs1.5 million given by the KP chief minister for the polo association lapsed due to non-deposition in bank on time because of the negligence of the DC.
He said the DC did not like when he repeatedly demanded that the allowance of the polo players should be paid to them.
Shahzada Sikendar said it was he who in 1981 managed to organize the Shandur polo festival through civilian teams. in 1982, forces’ team also took part in the event but today instead of civilian players Shandur festival has been taken over by forces who are even not ready to accommodate the civilian players.
“We are also planning to file a petition in court to stop forces from interfering in civil events,” he added.
Reporting: Muhkam Uddin