KARACHI: After appointment of senior journalist Najam Sethi as the interim chairman of PCB, it is clear that the PML-N government has started taking interest in sports issues.
But it has huge problems to resolve as a number of sports federations and associations are divided into various groups.
The conflict between the PSB and the POA, country’s two biggest sports institutions, has reached such a stage that there are concerns that the IOC may ban Pakistan’s participation in Olympics.
Some national level sportsmen say that after the 32nd National Games and POA elections on July 4, both organised by the interim committee, the IOC’s patience might run out and it might ban Pakistan.
Sportsmen say that if the government failed to take action now, Pakistan may face a ban as did India. “And it should keep in mind that the Indian government had finally to follow the IOC’s policy,” says a sportsman.
A group of hockey Olympians, who are bitterly opposed to those holding the 32nd National Games anew and POA elections, said that the IOC has strictly warned that they would not tolerate use of Olympic properties in Pakistan by any other body except that headed by Lt Gen (retd) Arif Hasan.
The legal department of IOC has e-mailed a communiqué to POA, informing it that the so-called interim committee of POA is making unauthorised use through a website of Olympic properties such as the term Olympic and the Olympic rings, along with the emblem of the officially recognised national Olympic committee of Pakistan, the POA.
The letter said that POA currently headed by Arif Hasan is the sole national Olympic committee in Pakistan legitimately recognised by the IOC and as such entitled to use the Olympic properties and its mark. The so-called interim committee of the POA has no right to use these Olympic properties, it said.
The sources said that this week would be the most important for Pakistan’s sports future as the IOC might react to the recent developments in Pakistan.
A large number of former Olympians and hockey lovers have launched a movement to dethrone the current Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) management, but have so far failed in their efforts.
The present management has completed its four-year tenure and hockey lovers would also see a drastic change in the PHF management soon, a former Olympian, who is a diehard PML-N supporter, said.
The sources said that all details about the prevailing pathetic condition of Pakistani sports from cricket to hockey and POA to PSB are being sent to PML-N top leadership including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief, who is himself a great sports lover.
The sources further said that former PM Zafarullah Jamali would play an important role in decision of federal government about sports planning, strategies, especially about the PHF.
They said that the PML-N has identified those people who are using some big names of its leadership to stick to big positions in sports federations.
On the other hand, Naved Alam, Shahnaz Sheikh and Mansoor Ahmad and several other Olympians worked in the PML-N election campaign and so are likely to have a big say in the forthcoming sports planning and decisions.