Pakistan sports on decline since PSB’s formation: Arif Hasan
KARACHI: The decline of sports in Pakistan began in 1962 with formation of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and the slump is more rapid than before today which continues to harm the country’s image, President of Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) Lt Gen (r) Syed Arif Hasan said on Tuesday.
“You can analyse for yourself the causes of decline in Pakistan sports which is indicated by the fewer medals the country’s sports persons have managed at the Asian level,” said the POA chief while addressing a crowded news conference at the Karachi Press Club here on Tuesday.
“Pakistan was rated among the top five medal winners in the continent before 1962. We used to win 8-10 gold medals but it was reduced to 6-7 and the graph has only gone down with the passage of time,” he commented.
Gen Arif’s comments clearly indicated the bad blood that has been created in the wake of the row triggered by the PSB sports policy which restricts the sports officials from holding office beyond two terms. It may be mentioned that Gen Arif was elected for a third term earlier this month.
The POA chief, speaking candidly about the PSB row, said the government or the PSB could not interfere in the affairs as per the Olympic charter of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
He said under this scenario the IOC can put Pakistan’s membership in abeyance if the current situation is not resolved. “Pakistan can face dire consequences if the matter is not resolved amicably,” said Arif.
He said that the revised National Sports Policy 2005, which was notified on Dec 5 last year, was being contested at various levels. “However, since no major headway could be made, a petition by four national sports federations of volleyball, handball, gymnastics, and cycling was filed in the honourable high court,” he said.
“Although POA was included in the policy, we receive no grants from PSB and we are not affiliated member them and hence do not come under them in anyway. And we have always kept the IOC and OCA informed about everything,” he commented.
“At this stage, I cannot comment on Pakistan’s participation in London Olympics. This matter will be taken during the IOC Executive Board meeting to be held on July 20-21,” the POA chief disclosed.
“But I would like to tell you that the IOC is monitoring the situation in Pakistan.”
Gen Arif also expressed his dismay over the sports system in Pakistan. We don’t have any system for the development of sports in the country,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, a written statement which was distributed on the occasion said: “The Olympic Charter is the principle governing document of international participation in all international sports activities which are governed accordance with the Olympic Charter. Nations around the globe vow to protect the spirit.
“The United Nations has also been stressing the same. Pakistan Olympic Association as the national Olympic committee of Pakistan is also duty bound to abide by the rules and promote its objectives and mission and educate all related to sport movement.
“While ensuring that all efforts were made to maintain a harmonious relationship with the government, the POA ensured compliance with the Olympic Charter and maintained its autonomous status and has followed IOC’s instructions/directives. All member units of the POA affiliated to the POA are also under obligation of Olympic Charter and protect the Olympic movement,” the statement said.
“The POA has always pleaded before the governmental sports authorities, stakeholders including national sports federations and the national Olympic committee to adhere to the rules and regulations in accordance with the Olympic Charter but to little avail. Today some of the rules formed by PSB and provisions of the Nation Sports policy are not in consonance with the Olympic Charter, which if not corrected immediately may result in unfortunate isolation of Pakistan sports from international sports arena.”—APP