PSB to recognise Arif Hasan-led POA

Threat of possible IOC ban to country brings about acceptance.


Nabeel Hashmi July 04, 2014

KARACHI:


The Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) has retreated from its stance of opposing the Arif Hasan-led Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and has finally accepted him as the genuine head of the country’s Olympic Movement.


For more than a year, a tussle has ensued between the government and the IOC over the legitimacy of the POA. The government and the Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) ministry had been backing the POA led by Akram Sahi, whereas the IOC supported Hasan’s position.

With a possible ban closing in on Pakistan from the IOC, the PSB has declared that the Government of Pakistan follows the principle of no interference.

“The Government of Pakistan follows the principle of no interference in the affairs of entities belonging to the Olympic Movement in Pakistan, particularly the National Sports Federations and National Olympic Committee (NOC) operating in Pakistan,” a letter on July 4 by PSB Director General Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera available to The Express Tribune revealed.

“The recognition/affiliation of an NOC in a country is the sole prerogative of the IOC and the IOC recognises POA headed by Hasan. Therefore, there is only one legal and recognised POA in Pakistan led by Hasan. Any notification, letters or circulars issued against or contrary to this recognition are hereby withdrawn and stands cancelled with immediate effect.”

The letter to POA further reads that the possession of the POA office should be handed back to the legal custodian of the Olympic properties in Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2014.

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