Pakistan to send 39-member squad to Olympics

Squad includes 18 hockey players, two athletes, two swimmers and a shooter.


Afp July 04, 2012

LAHORE: Pakistan announced a 39-member contingent for this month's London Olympics on Wednesday, with their only realistic medal hopes lying in field hockey.

As well as 18 hockey players, the squad also includes two athletes, two swimmers and a shooter, Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) president Arif Hasan told reporters.

"We have finalised a 39-member contingent with 23 players and 16 officials for the London Olympics and hope that our hockey team win a medal," he said.

Pakistan's participation is under a cloud due to a rift between the POA and the Pakistan Sports Board -- the national body which governs the country's various sports organisations.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) last month met Pakistani sports officials in Switzerland to resolve a row over alleged government interference in the POA affairs, a violation of the Olympic charter.

The PSB wants to implement a new sports policy under which no national sports federation head can have more than two tenures, and expects the POA to follow suit.

But POA chief Arif Hasan, who won a third term in February this year, refused to follow the PSB directives, saying the POA was an autonomous body that would only follow IOC rules.

The PSB said it has convened a meeting on Thursday to solve the matter.

Pakistan's only hopes of winning a medal rests with the hockey squad which qualified for the London Games as Asian champions' title they won in 2010.

Apart from the hockey squad announced on Sunday, Pakistan's contingent includes athletes Rabia Ashiq and Liaquat Ali, swimmers Anum Banday and Israr Hussain and shooter Khurrum Inam -- all on wild-cards.

Pakistan have won three gold medals (1960, 1968 and 1984) and as many silvers and two bronze in field hockey in all Olympics.

COMMENTS (9)

Asad Hasan | 9 years ago | Reply

Express Tribune would do well to publish a full article on the 16 officials accompanying the Olympic Players. At a minimum the article should provide their bio data, expereince with the particular sport they are representing and so on. It is intereesting to note that according to VK Malhotra, the IOA’s acting chief, the number of officials accompanying teams should not exceed 50 per cent of the total strength of the squad.

Dadyal | 9 years ago | Reply

I suspect that many talented pakistanis could not represent their country in world sport and have to watch it on television as they can not afford the training and resources. Nation needs sport university where the talented could be educated and trained. I say to those individuals that thrive on me and me, could spend little of their resources on pakistani talent. Cut down on quantity and spend resources on quality.

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