Fram Gommendy Reports
Well, the matter is closed, says the World Federation.
In their statement, the Officials explain there is no way of determining precisely the age of an individual and that there is a consistency in the registration over the years.
Happy to read that the young man is a young man, and that we have a new Pakistan Champion in the making. Much needed….
Old story I guess, as it’s not the first time – from far – the question is asked… I remember a meal after the final of the Pakistan Open in 2004 where a very young James Willstrop, winner of the event, bluntly asked the National Coach about the overage Pakistan Juniors syndrome! That was during my first travel to Pakistan… 20-something years later, here we are again?…
The Egyptian Coach and Technical Director from the Egyptian Delegation, Ashraf Hanafi, officially questioned the age exactitude of the new World Junior Champion – he mentioned it two days ago on the Misr News on FaceBook.
“Earlier, the Egyptian Squash News on Tuesday night shared the official results of age tests conducted by the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) at AFIRI in Rawalpindi in 2021 in which Hamza was found 17 to 17.6 years of age and was allowed to play in the under-19 category till July 2022.
“This test was done for a group of Pakistani players, including Muhammad Hamza Khan, the under-19 world champion.
This test was conducted in January 2021 and determined his [Hamza’s] age at that time between 17 and 17 and a half years, meaning that he is now above 19 years.”
The WSF then published a statement “confirming that yesterday evening a request was submitted by the Egyptian Squash Federation to confirm the age of WSF World Junior Squash champion Hamza Khan of Pakistan“.
The response from the Pakistani Federation and the Champion father was reported in the latest GeoTV article about the situation:
“Like any other event, Hamza Khan’s age was medically tested before he was nominated for World Junior Squash Championship,” said Zafaryab Iqbal, secretary of the PSF.
“We have all documentary evidence of his age which proves him eligible to play in the world junior championship,” he added.
Zafaryab further said that WSF has not formally contacted PSF on the matter and whenever a formal contact will be made, they will reply to it accordingly.
Hamza’s father Niaz Khan confirmed to Geo News that Hamza’s date of birth is 2nd November 2005 and according to that, he is not even 18 years old at this stage.
If the Pakistani report from 2021 is confirmed, an interesting case will be – do we have no Champion for 2023? Would French Melvin Scianimanico, who lost 12-10 in the 5th in the semis, be entitled to be crowned as Mohamed Zakaria would? Or anybody that lost against the Pakistani?
Oh, between the Women’s World Junior Champ wearing her own sponsors’ shirt while playing in the World Champ Individual competition, and now this… it’s all fun and games at the World Juniors….