ISLAMABAD / KARACHI / LAHORE: The federal government needs to revive Pakistan’s sporting fortunes, beginning with asking the nation’s Olympic chief to go away his put up.
The demand got here from Shahbaz Gill, Particular Assistant to the Prime Minister, at a information convention held on the Press Data Division on Friday, asking retired Lt Gen Arif Hasan to resign because the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) president, a put up he’s held since 2004.
Pakistan have did not win an Olympic medal since 1992, the drought now extending to 2024 after no medal was received on the recently-concluded Tokyo Olympics throughout which a blame-game ensued between the POA and the Pakistan Sports activities Board relating to the preparation of athletes.
And after a gathering was held underneath the chairmanship of the prime minister to debate the Olympic displaying on Friday, it was determined that the one means that drought is to finish was to ask Mr Arif to give up.
“We cannot tolerate further embarrassment in sports,” Mr Gill instructed reporters, flanked by Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Fehmida Mirza and PSB director-general retired Col Mohammad Asif Zaman. “And on behalf of the nation, I will ask POA president to resign.”
Mr Gill stated that POA had no accountability throughout Mr Arif’s reign over the last 17 years, including that the federal government wouldn’t maintain again from taking motion now.
Fehmida Mirza echoed Shahbaz Gill’s demand.
“What we’ve seen over the years is that one personality is above everyone, above the law, above the government and has become untouchable,” she instructed Daybreak following the information convention.
“After becoming POA chief, Arif changed its constitution, removing the prime minister as its patron and hence there was never any accountability during his term. He also added hand-picked members as independent voters so he can cling on to his post.”
Ms Fehmida added that the POA had persistently absolved itself of duty of growing sports activities within the nation.
Previously, there have been makes an attempt to pressure the ouster of Mr Arif however strain from the Worldwide Olympic Committee, which doesn’t enable for political or authorities interference within the issues of its member organisations, noticed the federal government again down.
The POA has for lengthy claimed that its obligation is to observe the observance of the Olympic constitution and the World Anti-Doping Company code in Pakistan.
Following the information convention in Islamabad, it held an emergency assembly in Lahore to resolve its stance. It didn’t instantly ship out a press assertion however Daybreak has learnt that it’ll write a letter to the prime minister, asking for a chance to transient him.
“We will be holding a news conference on Tuesday to reply to today’s presser,” POA normal secretary Khalid Mahmood instructed Daybreak on Friday. “We’re also calling an emergency general council meeting within 15 days.”
The POA may also inform the prime minister that Mr Arif was elected by a good course of in 2019, with representatives from the IOC and the Olympic Council of Asia additionally in attendance. It can additionally reiterate that interference in its issues will result in intervention by the IOC.
The specter of motion and potential suspension from the IOC was mentioned throughout the assembly with the prime minister, sources stated. Presently, Pakistan is suspended by world soccer physique FIFA after a court-elected physique seized management of the Pakistan Soccer Federation headquarters from the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee.
Sources instructed Daybreak that additionally in attendance at that assembly had been Athletics Federation of Pakistan president retired Maj Gen Akram Sahi, who twice contested and failed in his bid for the POA presidency, Pakistan Hockey Federation secretary Asif Bajwa and former PFF normal secretary retired Col Mujahid Tareen.
Squash nice Jansher Khan was additionally invited however couldn’t attend.
Among the many 10 athletes who took half within the Olympics, solely javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem and weightlifter Talha Talib got here near successful a medal. Each completed fifth of their respective disciplines.
Ms Mirza stated the federal government wished to enhance “sports governance in the country and bring transparency”.
“We’ve been pushing on the implementation of a national sports policy but it is Arif who’s been resisting it. We want the federations to be accountable but they don’t want to do that. How can we revive sports when things are the way they are?” she questioned.
She added that the POA was additionally placing hurdles in forming the Nationwide Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO). The AFP is at present suspended by the POA after three athletes examined constructive for banned substances throughout the 2019 South Asian Video games.
“The POA wants to have its own doctor to be heading NADO,” alleged Fehmida, earlier than going additional and blaming Pakistan Military and Wapda for the nation’s sporting decline.
“The athletes who tested positive were from those two departments. They are the biggest supporters of Arif and instead of taking action against them, it’s the AFP which is being victimized.”
Fehmida additionally stated that the POA obliges its supporters by sending them to the Olympics as coaches.
“The Pakistan Badminton Federation secretary was there in Tokyo as the coach of Mahoor Shahzad, while the Pakistan Weightlifting Federation president travelled as the coach of Talha,” she stated, including that sprinter Najma Parveen was despatched to the Olympics with out the consent of AFP.
“The AFP didn’t want to send Najma and had informed us that she wasn’t fit to participate but she was sent to oblige her coach.”
In the course of the Video games, the POA blamed Pakistan’s poor efficiency on the PSB returning unutilized funds amounting to Rs440million again to the finance ministry.
It stated that these funds may have been utilized in preparation of athletes who had been due to participate on the Video games and likewise alleged that the IPC didn’t ship any abstract to the prime minister to get funds for Olympic preparations.
Printed in Daybreak, August 14th, 2021