Earlier today on Facebook, the Iraq Paralympic Committee announced that they had dissolved the national organization for disability table tennis, citing administrative and financial irregularities.
The Iraq Paralympic Committee President Aqil Hamid was quoted in a press release as saying, “The committee decided to dissolve the Union of Table Tennis for the Disabled, and will be depriving boss Rashid Hassan of his position fora two consecutive terms while also removing the financial secretary Ahmed Zughayyar and Amin Serfrad Khalid for one term.”
Hamid also went on to say that Iraqi NPC recently was being forced by circumstance to make several important decisions at their annual general meeting. Despite an attempt to bring in a foreign coach for the sport, they were unable to do so because of financial hardship. He was quoted further as saying, “the public has decided to initiative each year to a vote of confidence to the members of the Executive Office so as to ensure the sustainability of the work as that serves disability sports.”
Table tennis is one of several sports where Iraq has sent competitors to the Paralympic Games. Class 8 player Saeed Ali competed in London, and was eliminated in the group stage after losing 0 – 3 to Slovak Richard Csejtey and defeating Poland’s Piotr Grudzien 2 – 0. The country sent a three player strong table tennis delegation to last year’s Para Asian Games. The team included Saeed Ali who made it to the men’s singles quarterfinals before being eliminated, Fakhrulddin Fattah Najm who lost every game in class 8 men’s single group play, and Muntadher Farooq Ali-Sarraji who lost in the class 4 men’s singles quarterfinals.
International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), the sport’s international governing body, has provided support to table tennis in Iraq in the past. In 2007 and 2008, they provided equipment and conducted courses in the country.