LAHORE–President Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) Lt. Gen. (Retd) Syed Arif Hasan, HI(M) addressing a press conference here Tuesday afternoon made it abundantly clear that the Pakistan Sports Board’s (PSB) Executive Board meeting of the same day earlier in Islamabad violated its own rules and procedures in terms of invitees and was also in contravention of verdicts of the higher courts including the Supreme Court. Although no official notification has been given, however, if true, these may indeed have serious consequences keeping in view the established norms of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the international federations for these amount to trespass and intervention in the autonomy of the established principles of autonomy of the POA and national federations.
Overwhelmed by the electronic and print media queries after news started emerging from Islamabad, the POA thought it fit to call a press conference so that the entire media could be collectively informed about the National Olympic Committee’s responses.
“Since no information has officially been made available, I cannot be categorical in my responses”, said Gen. Arif.
Having commented on the authenticity of the available information, responding to the question of eager media persons representing top echelons of our sporting press, the POA president systematically dismantled the very locus standi of the meeting.
“The correct procedures laid down in the PSB own statute book were not followed, for only the presidents and secretary generals of the POA, the Provincial Olympic Associations and the national federations – and not just anybody the PSB wished. [Since the 1960s this procedure has been meticulously followed, as can be ascertained by the PSB’s own records]. The Executive Board has an inherent sanctity and nobody can appear in it in one’s personal capacity – as the invites suggested.
“Thirdly, the prerogative of holding/awarding the National Games is POA’s, by right and convention. No other entity can hold any games under the nomenclature of National Games. It is tantamount to serious trespass, much similar in manner for someone to assume the authority to hold/award the Olympic Games or the Asian Games. The National Games, awarded by POA are a bi-annual affair and having just held these Games in Lahore under its aegis, the POA shall hold/award the next Games for 2014 in due course. That is why even the two departmental member organizations of the Executive Board reportedly resisted the move [to use the title for some games under the PSB’s umbrella]. As far as the “non-participation of major stakeholder” it may be mentioned that the only major “stakeholder” which did not participate in the 32nd National Games was the Pakistan Army. Out of the 13 stakeholders 10 participated (excluding the Services). And if they (the three) did not participate, they did so of their own accord.
“Fourthly, since the POA constituents were not representing it in the meeting [other than one or two inspired lone rangers], any decision with regards to the POA or national federations taken there is illegal, immoral and irrational”, said the POA President.
“Finally would PSB like to release the attendance sheet as many unauthorized persons were attending the meeting”.