The stand-off on the National Sports Policy continued as the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), led by General (retd) Arif Hasan, held its general council meeting amid a resolution from various federations stating that they will not attend any gathering under the current leadership.
“We shall not respond to any correspondence from the POA till Arif Hasan remains the POA head,” stated the resolution.
Bodies, which boycotted the POA meeting, included the Pakistan Hockey Federation and Athletics Federation of Pakistan besides others.
These federations maintained that Hasan is acting against the Pakistan Sports Board’s National Sports Policy 2005 which bars an official to have more than two tenures. The POA, however, says it is obligatory to follow the International Olympics Charter (IOC) that bars government intervention in its affairs.
The Islamabad Olympics Association, part of the campaign against Hasan, claimed that 20 out of 34 affiliated bodies boycotted the POA meeting.
However, a POA official said the meeting was attended by two-third of the members.
“It was a successful meeting,” a senior POA official told The Express Tribune. “Barring a few federations, most of our members attended it. Federations, who announced a late boycott, failed to disrupt the meeting.”
Concerns on hockey performance
Meanwhile, the official added that Pakistan’s performance at the London Olympics was also reviewed.
“Concerns were raised on hockey’s performance,” said the official. “There’s no improvement despite the PHF getting a lot of money. The members called for accountability of relevant officials.”
The general council also gave a go-ahead for the Beach Games in Karachi in February 2013.
The POA president said the indifference was damaging Pakistan sports.
“We want sports to progress and we want to take all stakeholders along. Nobody is benefitting from this fight.”
Hasan lamented the decision to boycott the meeting, given the invitations were sent a month ago.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2012.