Sports Federations given 2 months to reorder affairs

By Alam Zeb Safi
Friday, July 06, 2012
The News

KARACHI: In a bid to avoid any complication ahead of the London Olympics, the Pakistan Sports Board’s (PSB) Executive Committee gave two months to sports federations to reorder their affairs in line with the national sports policy and the Supreme Court’s verdict about more than two tenures of office bearers.

Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, who chaired the meeting, avoided stating categorically what the federations and the other concerned parties should do during the next two months, but said that the ministry was compelled to act according to the Supreme Court’s judgement regarding the implementation of the sports policy.

Some sources said that the minister said the national sports policy, especially its clause of tenure restriction, had already been implemented.

Those federations that are to be affected by the tenure restriction were not invited to the meeting, which was, nevertheless, attended by the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) President Lt General (retd) Syed Arif Hasan.

PSB Director General Amir Hamza Gilani categorically told this correspondent, “From today all those office-bearers of the federations who have already completed two tenures are finished.”

He said that the federations had been asked to put their houses in order within two months and submit compliance reports to the PSB.

An insider also said that when the POA chief said in the meeting that the apex court’s verdict did not apply to the national Olympic body, he was told that everyone would have to follow it.

Arif was also told that he risked being charged with contempt of court.

Arif was also asked to come up with a legal document to prove that the POA should not be affected by the court’s decision.

The other day the POA chief had written to the IPC that the Executive Committee meeting was illegal as rules were not adopted while convening it, but surprisingly he appeared in the illegal meeting.

Meanwhile, a source said that the federations requested the committee to review the controversial clauses of the national sports policy and bring them in line with the charter of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Sources said that Bijarani told a press conference that a four-member committee had been constituted to review the two controversial clauses of the national sports policy. This showed the government’s flexibility on the matter, the sources added.

Sources said that Pakistan Volleyball Federation (PVF) president Chaudhry Mohammad Yaqoob, Pakistan Federation Baseball president Shaukat Javed and Pakistan Taekwondo Federation president Iftikhar Ahmad Tabassum were allowed to attend the meeting illegally as they were not invited for the purpose.

However, they were not allowed to speak in the meeting as the IPC had invited the senior vice-presidents of those federations which were affected by the decision.

The IPC and the PSB made a blunder by not inviting the representatives of the provincial Olympic associations and the departments who are also the stakeholders.

“There is no doubt that the IPC secretary did not invite the provincial Olympic associations to the meeting on the advice of General Arif,” former Director General PSB and the president of the Islamabad Olympic Association Brigadier Arif Siddiqui told ‘The News’.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) secretary Col Ahmad Yar Lodhi told the committee, showing it a letter from FIFA, that the world football governing body could ban Pakistan because of interference from the government in the affairs of its affiliated body.

Lodhi said that FIFA gives Pakistan an annual grant of Rs50m while the PSB gives the PFF only Rs1.5 million annually. “Now, you should tell me what we should do,” Lodhi said at the meeting.