Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) President Lt Gen (r) Arif Hasan has said that training players for winning international medals is the responsibility of government and sports federations and they must be held responsible for poor performance of national players at international events and Olympics.
Addressing a virtual press conference here on Monday, the POA president said: “When we see the roles and responsibilities of Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and sports federations, it is clearly mentioned that sports promotion and development is their mandate and they need proper funding and facilities to help the players finish on the victory podium. In fact, the PSB didn’t do its work with responsibility and now it’s officials are trying to shift all the burden of players’ performance in Tokyo Olympics on POA and me.
“I would like to ask the PSB high-ups why they returned the funds of Rs 440 million instead of utilizing them on the athletes, who had the chance of winning medals for Pakistan. Had the PSB spent this amount on the players, the results of our players at Tokyo Olympics would have been far different,” he lamented.
Arif Hasan said the POA made aware the PSB of each and every matter regarding the Olympics and Pakistan players’ participation in the mega events but in return, the PSB didn’t cooperate well. “I would like to clarify that when we forwarded the PSB’s two nominations – Rana Nasrullah and Col (r) Asif Zaman – we received a very harsh response that now the deadline has been passed and no name can be entered or entertained.”
Answering a question, the POA chief said: “We had timely booked tickets of players and officials, otherwise, our contingent couldn’t take part in Tokyo Olympics. There were a lot of minor issues, which were professionally handled by the POA officials, that’s why Pakistani players comfortably reached there and exhibit their prowess in their respective events and categories without being getting tensed.”
Lauding the services of Dr Asad Abbas, POA Chief said: “We are grateful to Dr Asad Abbas, who very keenly and skillfully took care of our athletes, and not only motivated them but also resolve their medical issues timely, which helped both Arshad Nadeem and Talha Talib finish fifth in the mega event. All the officials, who were part of the Pakistani contingent for Tokyo Olympics, were highly professional and did their duty with greater responsibility and helped Pakistani players give their best in Olympics.”
Arif Hasan asserted that he is an elected president of Pakistan Olympic Association. “The POA president is elected through a democratic way. The house has full trust in me and they are fully backing me, that’s why I am still president of the POA and will remain POA president until I have support of my house.”
Sharing the suggestion how Pakistan sports can flourish and how Pakistani players can win international medal, the POA chief said: “Instead of playing blame game, we need to sit together as it is the only viable solution to take Pakistan sports to new level. But if we don’t come out of this politics and blame game, Pakistan sports will continue to suffer in coming 10 to 20 years. I want Prime Minister Imran Khan to listen to both the parties, and after that, take a final decision as it will help Pakistan and its players excel at international level