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IOC, OCA throw weight behind Lieutenant General (Retd) Syed Arif Hasan led POA Back To Main


The Dawn

LAHORE, Feb 6: International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) have supported the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), headed by Lt Gen (retd) Arif Hasan as president, by admitting it as the sole legitimate body of the country.

Besides, they have also warned individuals/bodies which are destabilising the POA and the Olympic movement in Pakistan by forming parallel body.

In a quick reaction to the development, under which a parallel body of the POA was announced by some individuals led by Arif Mahmud Siddiqi from Islamabad on Sunday, the IOC and OCA came in to support POA president Arif Hasan, declaring it as the sole legitimate body.

A letter signed by IOC relations director Pere Miro and OCA director general and technical director Husain AlMusallam, which was written on Feb 5, states: `This is to confirm that the POA currently headed by its president Lt Gen (retd) Arif Hasan and the office-bearers duly and democratically elected by the General Assembly of the POA on Feb 4, 2012, in the presence of observers from the IOC and the OCA is the sole legitimate body recognised by the IOC and affiliated with the OCA to act as the National Olympic Committee in Pakistan.

Showing its powers as the sole body to recognise any sports organisation, the letter further states: `As per the Olympic charter, the IOC is the sole body that is entitled to recognise a National Olympic Committee.

Giving a clear warning to the individual/bodies to refrain from damaging the Olympic movement, the letter also states, `It is regrettable to note that the repeated attempts of a number of individuals/bodies to act against the Olympic charter and to destabilise the legitimate POA do not serve at all the interests of the Olympic movement and the athletes in Pakistan.

`On the contrary, this affects negatively the development of the Olympic movement in Pakistan and has no effect but to expose the POA unnecessarily to protective measures from the IOC Executive Board, for which these individuals/bodies should be held responsible.

`Consequently, no organisation can claim to represent the POA or play the role of a National Olympic Committee in Pakistan.

It may be mentioned here that the IOC has also summoned a meeting with the POA president and a government official at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland on Feb 15 in an attempt to resolve the differences between the two bodies.

But as the government is not admitting Arif Hasan as the president of the POA and supporting the parallel body of the POA and this letter of the IOC has given full support to Arif, there are chances that now the government will not send its official to attend the meeting.

Sources said the IOC has cleared its stance with this letter and it could take any action against those who will support the parallel set-up.