KARACHI: Pakistan Olympics Association (POA)’s president, Lieutenant-General (ret.) Syed Arif Hasan said they are not responsible for sports development in the country.
Speaking in ARY News’ show ‘Sports Room‘, Hassan said POA’s job is to promote Olympianism and protect the Olympic charter.
“It is very clear that POA is not responsible for sports development in the country and we don’t get funds for it,” he stated.
“Pakistan Sports Board (PSB)’s website defines their role which is ‘to promote and develop standards of national fitness as well as standards of competition, comparable to the International standards’. Our role is simple, to promote Olympianism and protect the Olympic charter,” he clarified.
Hassan gave examples of other countries around the world that how they invest in their athletes. “No country has an Olympic committee developing athletes for international competitions. See an example of India, their government invested in each athlete to prepare them for Olympics, their national Olympic committee is not responsible for it,” he highlighted.
Response to IPC Minister Fehmida Mirza
Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC), Fehmida claimed in an interview with ARY News that POA didn’t hold themselves accountable.
While replying to this claim, Hassan said people should come up with proof of their claims. “See, we have had cooperated with everyone in this regard. If someone is saying that we don’t give answers, they should come up with proof that when and where we didn’t cooperate with them,” he replied.
“We are ready to cooperate anytime but we will not violate the constitution which can hurt games and athletes in the country,” he mainatained.
Lack of system
The POA’s president accepted that there is no proper system to develop athletes for international contests. “Unfortunately, we don’t have any proper system to develop athletes. There are no sports activities at the school and community level which is a real concern. We need to work together to mend things right from grassroots,” he said.
“I hope that government’s ‘Kamyab Pakistan Program’ will establish a better system to produce quality athletes in the country,” he concluded.