Sahi’s POA mulls involving PM in parallel bodies’ issues

Government-backed association seeks similar attention being given to PCB.


Nabeel Hashmi May 20, 2014
The deadlock between the two parallel bodies is driving the IOC towards imposing a possible ban if the matter remains unresolved until June. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI:


The Akram Sahi-led Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) is considering seeking Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif’s intervention to help solve the tussle between their organisation and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognised POA led by Arif Hasan.


The deadlock between the two parallel bodies is driving the IOC towards imposing a possible ban if the matter remains unresolved until June.

“We’re definitely thinking of involving the PM in the matter,” an official close to the subject told The Express Tribune.

“We feel that the PM should directly deal with Hasan, who is conspiring against Pakistan, as endorsed by Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Riaz Hussain Pirzada and Senator Farhatullah Babar. The deadlock is hurting our sports badly and this issue must end soon.”

The move was deliberated upon after witnessing the government’s active role in matters of the the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), where it has been standing firm against Zaka Ashraf.

The direct involvement of the IPC and government in the board’s matters has led Sahi’s POA to believe that they can ask for help from the authorities as well.

“We believe the POA issue can be put to bed if the government dedicates as much attention to it as it has been giving to the PCB matters.

“If you compare the POA and the PCB in terms of sports, then the POA is far bigger, as the athletes who take part in the Olympics through us represent Pakistan on a forum that includes participants from all over the world.”

POA backs placing Hasan’s name on ECL

An official press release from the Sahi-led POA stated that they fully support the idea of placing Hasan’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL) and carrying out an inquiry on the misuse of the POA’s and Pakistan Sports Trust’s funds.

It further read that the government and IOC member in Pakistan, Syed Shahid Ali, should take up the issue with the IOC to recognise the properly elected POA headed by Sahi.

The press release came a day after government officials Babar and Pirzada had requested the government to put Hasan’s name in the ECL.

Hasan was invited by the IOC to Lausanne, Switzerland for a meeting along with IPC officials on May 21, but it remains to be seen whether he will make it if his name is put on the ECL list.

Hasan was repeatedly contacted for his views on the recent developments but has been unavailable to give comments.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2014.

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