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POA chief Arif defiant in face of govt’s demand to step down

by Pakistan Latest News Update

LAHORE: Pakistan’s Olympic chief isn’t going to bow right down to the federal government’s demand to step down. As an alternative, retired Lt Gen Arif Hasan is trying ahead to the problem.

With members of the Pakistan Olympic Affiliation common council in attendance throughout a information convention at an area resort on Monday, POA president Arif joined them from the USA by way of a video hyperlink and stated he received’t be stepping down from his put up for these “who didn’t perform their duty of preparing the athletes for the Tokyo Olympics”.

After Pakistan’s failure to win a medal in Tokyo, particular assistant to the prime minister Shahbaz Gill, alongside Minister for Inter-provincial Coordination Dr Fehmida Mirza held a information convention 10 days in the past the place they demanded Arif to resign from the put up he’s held since 2004.

“The POA is an autonomous body working under the International Olympic Committee Charter in Pakistan and its general council elects the office-bearers for four-year terms,” the 71-year-old Arif instructed reporters.

“If anyone has ambitions to become the POA president, they can come and contest the elections.”

Arif reminded that authorities interference in issues of the POA will incur the wrath of the IOC however stated these warnings are all the time met with calls of “blackmail”.

Taking a jibe at Athletics Federation of Pakistan president retired Maj Gen Akram Sahi, Arif stated these “who were defeated twice in the past in POA elections [in 2012 and 2016] are trying to misguide the government”.

The aftermath of the 2012 elections led to formation of two parallel our bodies of the POA, one led by Arif and recognised by the IOC, and the opposite led by Sahi and recognised by the federal government.

It was solely after the federal government determined to simply accept the POA of Arif that Pakistan escaped an IOC suspension.

These occasions, Arif stated, had seen the POA take away the President of Pakistan because the patron of the Olympic committee.

“It was an embarrassment in 2013, that the President was the patron in constitutions of both the parallel POAs,” he stated. “The post of the president is highly respectable and such conflicts damage the status of that sacred post.”

Arif lamented that Prime Minister Imran Khan had not invited the POA to clarify its place relating to the Olympic efficiency however stated {that a} request had been made.

“Hopefully it would pave the way to create understanding, which was the need of the time if Pakistan wants to move forward in the right direction,” he stated.

Arif as soon as once more blamed the Pakistan Sports activities Board for returning unutilized funds amounting to Rs440million again to the finance ministry in an Olympic yr, whereas additionally alleging that the IPC ministry additionally didn’t guide airline tickets for the Pakistan contingent on the Video games.

“Despite repeated requests to the IPC ministry and the PSB, they did not chalk out a comprehensive training programme for the athletes in the last three years,” he stated, blaming Pakistan’s failure to win a medal at the truth that “preparing athletes is the PSB’s responsibility”.

Arif, who was elected to a fifth time period in 2019, dismissed claims relating to lack of transparency within the POA elections, saying no criticism had been acquired within the final two years whereas each he and POA common secretary Khalid Mahmood reiterated that they weren’t certain by regulation to make public the audited monetary statements of the POA public.

“Those statements are shown to each and every member of the general council and we are bound to show them to the IOC to secure further funding,” they stated.

Delving into the efficiency of javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem and weightlifter Talha Talib, who each completed fifth of their respective occasions on the Tokyo Video games, Arif praised the function of Dr. Asad Abbas who was with the contingent because the Covid-19 specialist.

“He made sure that Arshad and Talha were able to compete,” stated Arif. “Arshad had pain in his elbow and almost decided to quit while Talha had complaints with his shoulder but Dr Asad helped them out.”

Arif requested Khalid to clarify the case of sprinter Najma Parveen, who flopped badly on the Video games, and reply to questions that she was in Tokyo with a coach not beneficial by the AFP.

“The AFP has been suspended by the POA after three of its athletes returned positive dope tests at the 2019 South Asian Games,” Khalid defined. “Therefore, the cases of track-and-field athletes were dealt through their parent department Wapda and coaches who went with Arshad and Najma were recommended by it.”

Arif added that nationwide federations had restricted assets as a consequence of lack of sponsorships to organize athletes. “It is the government which can help in preparing athletes as it has a lot of resources,” he added.

Khalid added that the POA held teaching and administration programs but it surely may “do only so much with our annual budget which is just Rs50million”.

With Pakistan awarded the appropriate to organise the South Asian Video games in 2023, Arif stated the friction between the POA and the federal government would hit the nation’s internet hosting bid.

Earlier than Arif went offline, he acquired one other vote of help from his common council, and likewise from his senior vice-president Aaqil Shah who concluded the information convention saying the federal government’s demand had been out rightly rejected.

Revealed in Daybreak, August 24th, 2021

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