POA’s declaration of war with PSB


Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), President, Lt-Gen (Retd) Syed Arif Hasan in a press conference here rebutted Pakistan Sports Board’s claims with regards to uncalled for speculation on the February 2012 elections and the national Olympic committee’s autonomous status.
He also pointed out many underhand tactics being employed to coerce the POA and the national federations into submission. “The vilification campaigns based on twisting of facts are the methods being employed.”
“Why is the PSB now trying to find ingenious ways to establish that the POA is affiliated to it when it had already categorically submitted to the Lahore High Court some time back that we were not?,” said he. “This is against the Olympic Charter and detrimental not just to Pakistan sports but will have a deeply injurious impact on the image of an already isolated nation. I am not qualified to predict or speculate on what stance the IOC and the international federations to which our individual federations are affiliated will adopt but one thing can be said with some certainty: any violation of the IOC Charter will invite sanctions”, said Gen. Arif.
“Our national bodies are already feeling the unwelcome heat from the international federations. For instance FIFA has ordered the Pakistan Football Federation that it would not countenance any intervention of the government institution into the latter’s affairs. Similar missives have been received by the federations of rugby and sailing.
“The International Boxing Federation (AIBA) had granted Pakistan an IOC Coaching Course that has already been withdrawn, citing the government intervention in sports federations’ affairs.”
“We are already a pariah in the world in so many ways. Nobody wants to make Pakistan a sporting destination. Now the government and its functionaries have brought us to a pass where the IOC may ostracize us from connecting with the world in sports”, said Gen. Arif. For the uninitiated, an IOC ban would mean total isolation and not just from participation in the Olympic Games – with Pakistan and Pakistanis barred from taking part in any multisport event including the Asian Games and the South Asian Games, all international meets across all sports and even bilateral series. Dilating on the issue of PSB’s unwanted intervention, to a question from a media person, Gen. Arif said: “We cannot show accommodation on PSB Rule 4 (ii-a) and 4(xi) as well as on the two-tenure clause of the National Sports Policy and only because it is against the Olympic Charter – and that to us is inviolable”. To yet another question, the POA President remarked, “while the PSB was so adamant on implementing the two-tenure clause, not a single other clause had been implemented. “In every country in the world the government and its bureaucracy supports sporting organizations to optimize potential and performances. This is the way of the world, what is not unconstitutional intervention. Here it is a most blatant case of interference, with the intent to trap and take over illegally”, said the POA President.
On the occasion POA’s, Secretary General, Khalid Mehmood also spoke briefly: “Any attempt to browbeat national federations through threats of withholding their NOC’s with regards to international travel and participation will be in contravention of the Olympic Charter”. POA, Vice President, Iftikhar Tabassum said: “The PSB is annually spending Rs 213 billion of its Rs 700 million budget on its administration, with a mere Rs 37 million slated for grants to more than 34 national federations. This is a travesty”.
Pakistan Baseball Federation, Secretary General, Khawar Shah said, his sport was willing to forego the PSB grant and walk out of its affiliation by clinging.