Weightlifters end protest after flag snub

The Pakistan weightlifters contingent has ended its protest and agreed to take part in the Commonwealth Games.


Fawad Hussain October 04, 2010

KARACHI: The Pakistan weightlifters contingent has ended its protest and agreed to take part in the Commonwealth Games (CWG) after the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) promised to look into the ugly flag-carrying spat that took place during the opening ceremony.

The weightlifters threatened to pull out of the event after Pakistan’s chef-de-mission Dr Mohammad Ali Shah, also the Sindh sports minister, decided to carry the national flag instead of the designated carrier, 2006 CWG gold-medallist weightlifter Shujauddin Malik.

Pakistan weightlifting coach and manager Rashid Mehmood said that the POA Chairman Arif Hasan has assured a full inquiry into the incident and has also promised to take possible action against Shah if found guilty of misconduct.

“We’ll be competing in the event after an assurance by the POA,” Mehmood told The Express Tribune. “We took this decision as we’re here to promote Pakistan. The weightlifters are trying to forget the incident and are fully focussed on giving their best in the competition.”

Shah denies snatching flag

The under-fire chef-de-mission has denied snatching the flag, adding that Malik was not the designated flag-bearer.

“Nothing was decided before the ceremony about who will the flag bearer be,” said Shah. “I decided to lead the squad and it’s not a rigid rule that only athletes will lead their respective contingents.”

Shah added that the weightlifting officials had nominated Malik’s name without consulting with the management.

“The misunderstanding took place because their manager had nominated Malik’s names without informing me or other officials.”

POA launches inquiry

“The POA chief will chair a meeting of Pakistan contingent’s officials today to find out reasons for the tussle,” said an official part of the Pakistan contingent in New Delhi. He, however, did confirm that since the POA had taken up the matter.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2010.

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COMMENTS (6)

welt | 9 years ago | Reply | Recommend If it gives you guys in Pakistan any comfort, we have such low life as Dr Shah in India as well, who go around as Sports Adminstrators, Managers and other no-gooders. Guess it will take sometime for the governments to realise that promoting such idiots to run sports bodies and institutions is the first reason why sports takes a backseat in the sub-continent.
Umair Mallick | 9 years ago | Reply | Recommend First of all: Shame to this individual called Dr Shah... Please someone investigate he is perhaps another one of the black sheep MP holding a fake degree. He should not only be dismissed but also set as an example for the others alike. Second: There should be a commission to wipe out all political interference from sports. There is a need for legislation giving heavy punishments to those who politicise sports, cultural activities, music, arts, mass media and heritage. There should an independent authority at national, provincial and district levels to oversee recruitment and promotion of real talent in the country. Third: There should be an organisation to provide support, encouragement as well as promotion in mass and media at national and international level for the sportsmen representing the country. Last: Thank you Indian public for being so supportive. Being neighbours we should not miss any opportunity to create bonding between our communities. We have a common past and should aim for a brilliant future next to each other.
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