July 2, 2019 at 7:27 pm
CHITRAL: The civilian players of polo announced to boycott the Shandur Polo Festival scheduled to commence from July 7 protesting the exclusion of legendary polo player Shahzada Sikandarul Mulk any bypassing of selection committee by the district administration in the selection of players.
Hundreds of polo players and polo fans took out protest procession against the Lower Chitral DC here on Tuesday afternoon and demanded his immediate transfer from Chitral if the government wanted to make the festival a success.
Later on, the president of district polo association Shahzada Sikandarul Mulk and the members of selection committee including Zafar Ali Shah, Muhammad Azam, Faqir Muhammad, Nasiruddin and others addressed a press conference and said that the undue interference of the administration was not acceptable to them.
They alleged that the DC lower Chitral taking vengeance on the district polo association when it pressed hard the district administration for the rights of the civilian polo players whose allowance of last year were still unpaid along with a number of other perks and privileges which they were entitled to.
They said that the selection of players for the Chitral teams to play in the Shandur festival has disappointed the polo fans across the district and it was due to this reason that all the four teams of civilian players have decided to boycott the event.
They regretted that the polo association had been sidelined by the district administration which is the sole and undisputed representative body of the polo players of Chitral and it was due to relentless efforts of the union that the game of polo is rejuvenating in Chitral which was on declination.
They said that the free style wild polo was a part and parcel of Chitral’s culture which they had continued since the olden days and they will not like the exclusion of civilian from the events of polo and it will adversely affect the forthcoming Shandur festival while the government is planning to hold in larger scale with greater allocations for it than ever before.
They said that the association has also decided to file a writ petition in Peshawar High Court regarding the undue control of the government departments in the affair of polo.
On this occasion, the member of zilla council from Lot Koh also announced to boycott the Shandur Festival by the people of Lot Koh valley where more people were fond of polo than the other parts of the district.