POA gets two more months to settle disputes


THE NATION, ISLAMABAD, 07th OCTOBER 2013 – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) in collaboration with the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has once again showed leniency towards Pakistan and has given another two months to the government and Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) to settle their disputes.
A meeting was held in Lausanne in this regard. This favour of the IOC must be appreciated as they, in the past, had imposed ban on a number of countries where they found the government’s involvement. The IOC didn’t spare India, despite fully aware of the fact that Indians allocate huge money to its sports. But the IOC showed a lot of restrain as far as Pakistan is concerned.
In the meeting, Lt Gen (r) Syed Arif Hassan gained further two-month time from the IOC to settle the dispute as it was badly hurting the country and its sports. The players, who want to showcase their skills at international forums, need to be protected by the country. On the other hand, the international players want to play in Pakistan but due to security reasons, they don’t come here so the only forum for Pakistani players to play with international athletes is Olympics.
Gen Arif is fully recognised by the IOC and was invited for the international meetings, but the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) didn’t let him participate by denying NOCs and using other dirty tactics. PSB–backed POA president Maj Gen (r) Akram Sahi made tall claims regarding participation of Pakistani contingent in the recently-concluded Islamic Solidarity Games, but resultantly, Pakistan were denied to take part just because of sheer negligence on the part of the POA.
The PSB is mother of all the ills as it is bucking up parallel bodies and lending them unconditional support, which results in non-professional persons occupying the federations and the standard of sports is also declining fast with each passing day. That is the main reason behind Pakistani sportsmen are lacking far behind.
The sources confirmed to the scribe that the IOC imposed ban on the POA accounts on the request of Gen Arif just because the fear of wasting funds by Gen Sahi-led POA.
The entire sporting community is in a fix for the past one year, but the IPC ministry is not even moved to tackle the situation and to give a sigh of relief to Pakistani athletes. This matter has already brought too much negativity for the country and players also have suffered a lot. This is totally wrong impression given by some certain quarters that law of the land should be followed and no dictation will be taken from the IOC. One has to follow international rules and regulations if they want to take part in international events and in Olympics.
The time is high when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should take serious notice of the prevailing situation at least once as the officials have taken only two-month time. A clear message should be given to not only the IOC but also to all the international sports governing bodies because in this way, we can resolve this very significant matter upon which the future of Pakistan sports lies. Any further delay on the part of the government to settle the POA dispute will certainly spell disaster for the country and especially for its athletes.

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