Freshly installed Afghanistan National Olympic Committee (A-NOC) head Fahim Hashimy has hailed the significance of an agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai which should ensure the financial independence of the governing body.
Hashimy, a 33-year-old businessman who owns the fastest-growing television channel in the country, 1TV, was unanimously elected to replace Mohammed Zaher Aghbar as A-NOC chief last month, with reform and independence key aspects of his appeal.
Following his victory, he said his priorities included ensuring the organisation retains its independence and does not have its position compromised by Government interference, after a lengthy period before his takeover during which the governing body had been under the auspices of the National Sports Directory.
This led to restrictions on autonomy, a key concern particularly because of the recent rhetoric by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ensure all governing bodies are fully independent.
But following the meeting, A-NOC is now officially classified as an independent Non-Governmental Organisation which will still receive some state funding, but by dealing with the Ministry of Finance and the President's Office rather than the Sports Directory.
"This is a great step which makes us much more comfortable," Hashimy told insidethegames.