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IOC hold talks to try to find solution to Pakistan Olympic Association row Back To Main


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October 4 - Pakistan's Government has pledged to find a solution to the row which is threatening the future of the Olympic Movement in the country, it was claimed today.

Talks involving the Government were held at the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne at trying to resolve the situation which has seen the situation whereby two retired army generals - Mohammad Akram Sahi and Arif Hasan - claim to head the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA).

The IOC still recognises the organisation headed by Hassan, not the "parallel body" led by Sahi and which is backed by the Government.

If the situation is not resolved then Pakistan could be suspended from the IOC, as neighbours India currently are.

The meeting was attended by officials from the IOC and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), along with Syed Shahid Ali, Pakistan's IOC member, Hasan from the recognised POA and Faridullah Khan, Federal Secretary to the Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination, representing the Government. 

A deadline of December 1 has been set by the IOC for the POA and the International Federations to review the situation and try to ensure that the Pakistan Government are not running parallel organisations. 

Pakistan's men's hockey team are already suffering because of the row - missing out on a chance to take part at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next yearPakistan's men's hockey team are already suffering because of the row - missing out on a chance to take part at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year

"Upon completion of this process, it was agreed that no one would challenge the composition of the POA, and that all parties will act strictly within the framework of the existing structure of the POA and in accordance with the POA Constitution approved by the IOC," the IOC said in a statement. 

"The Government of Pakistan expressed a firm commitment to fully respect and comply with the Olympic Charter, in particular the principle of autonomy of the Olympic Movement in the country.

"It was therefore agreed that the Government of Pakistan will cooperate and refrain from any undue intervention.

"The IOC is of the view that the development of sport in a country requires fruitful cooperation between all institutions in charge.

"To this effect, the IOC hopes that mutual understanding and a productive relationship can now be established between the Government of Pakistan, the POA and the National Sports Federations with full respect of the jurisdiction and responsibility of each entity and without any interference."

The row had started before last year's Olympics in London when Arif Siddiqui alleged that the Islamabad Olympic Association, which is affiliated to the POA and of which he is President, were being victimised because they did not vote for Hasan in the elections.

Failure to find a swift resolution has already cost Pakistan's hockey team a place in next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow because they missed a deadline to enter as a result of the dispute.