Sports and political appointments

Letter May 23, 2024
Sports and political appointments


Political appointments in sports associations have generally resulted in a decline in the performance of players and teams in the various sports played in Pakistan. We have seen hockey and cricket suffer immensely over the years, with PCB and PHF headed by personalities with little or no sports background. Pakistan’s performance in Olympics, specially in recent times, is nothing to write home about. Headed by an ex-serviceman from 2004 to 2024, Pakistan Olympic Association has been an utter failure, as the country failed to win even a single medal during these 20 years.

When heads and members of sports boards and associations are made on the basis of nepotism and favouritism and funds are allocated at their discretion, professionalism vanishes and indiscipline becomes prevalent. For example, it is common for a host of sports officials accompanying players at international events and enjoying free junkets. All these expenses are then covered by abusing funds that are only supposed to be spent on players and their training.

Another problem that arises when political personnel or retired officers, as opposed to sports professionals, head sports organisations is that they tend to compromise on integrity. There have been instances wherein the Pakistan Cricket Board has displayed tolerance for players involved in match-fixing, even though there must be zero tolerance for players involved in such illegal and immoral behaviours.

Therefore, professionals with integrity and dedication towards the game must head sports organisations. Merit must prevail in the choice of appointments, and pivotal positions must not be handed out as trophies to the favorites of those in power.

Ali Malik Tariq


Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd, 2024.

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