A large group of national players and sports officials recorded a peaceful protest here at Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Centre on Monday and demanded the resignation of Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) President Lt Gen (r) Arif Hasan blaming him for the downfall of sports in Pakistan and the country’s poor performance in recently-concluded Tokyo Olympics.
While protesting against Arif Hasan, the players, who were holding banners and placards, raised slogans ‘Go Arif Go’. Talking to media on the occasion, sports officials said: “Pakistan sports have suffered a lot due to such a long tenure of Arif Hasan, who instead of promoting Pakistan sports, rather put them towards further decline. Pakistani players have been giving pathetic performances in the international events as well as in Olympics, but the POA chief is still clinging to his post and isn’t ready to step down.”
The players said that POA neither facilitated players nor helped the federations to support the players so that they may give their best against any given opponent. “The POA gets million rupees grants from the IOC and instead of utilizing them on players and infrastructure, they (POA officials) are busy in enjoying perks and privileges and don’t bother about Pakistani athletes, who always seek for even getting their basic rights.”
They said Arif Hasan also awarded his near and dear ones Tokyo Olympics tours, leaving behind the genuine coaches and officials. “If the genuine coach of Talha Talib was brought to Tokyo, the results would have been far different. Same was the case with athlete Najma Perven, who was just brought to Japan in order to make way for a blue-eyed official, who successfully completed his joyride at the cost of shameful performance of Pakistani female athlete.”
They appealed Prime Minister Imran Khan to look into the matter to take remedial measures to arrest the cause of downfall of country’s sports by brining in right people for the right job in POA setup. “We demand that the POA chief should immediately step down in the larger interest of Pakistan sports and sportsmen and he must be replaced with a genuine and deserving one, who may take drastic steps to help Pakistan sports excel and start achieving medals in international events as well as Olympics.”
FCCS WANTS POA TO GO HOME
The Federal Coordination Committee of Sports (FCCS) wants Pakistan Olympics Association (POA) top officials to go home (resign), as it had not played any role for the betterment of sports in the country but has instead resulted in the decline of Pakistan’s sports for the last several years.
The FCCS fifth meeting was chaired by the Federal Minister of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Dr Fehmida Mirza here and was attended by members of the Coordination Committee including sports representatives from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan and Punjab, said a press release here. Federal Secretary IPC Mohsin Mushtaq and Director General Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Col (R) Asif Zaman were also present there.
All the participants expressed concern over Pakistan’s performance in the recent Olympics and said that POA has failed to perform its duties. The main reason for the decline in the Olympics of Pakistan’s games and the dismal position was because of POA President Lt Gen (R) Arif Hasan and Secretary General Khalid Mahmood. All the representatives at the meeting stressed that POA president should resign from his post for the betterment of sports.