Football in 2017 National Games to be under POA banner

Football in 2017 National Games to be under POA banner

KARACHI: The sports commission of Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) on Thursday decided that the competitions of judo, squash, cycling and football would be held under the banner of the POA in the National Games slated to be held in Quetta from October 7-14.

“In order to safeguard the rights of the athletes we have decided that the players of squash, judo, cycling and football will feature in the National Games under the POA banner,” the POA secretary Khalid Mehmood told ‘The News’ after the sports commission meeting in Islamabad.

The POA had asked Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF) and Pakistan Cycling Federation (PCF) to withdraw the cases they had filed against the POA. And it says the two federations have not yet done that.

Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) had been asked to take action against its senior vice-president Qamar Zaman as he was associated with a parallel Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Olympic association.

Khalid said that PSF had not yet taken any action against the former world champion.

As football is embroiled in legal wrangling so the sports commission decided if any specific decision from the court did not by August 7, both men and women football events would be conducted in the National Games under POA’s banner.

Khalid said that committees would be constituted for conducting the competitions in these disciplines.

Lahore High Court (LHC) heard the football case on Thursday following the PFF’s request for early hearing and August 7 has been fixed as the next date.

Khalid also revealed that handball had been cleared as Pakistan Handball Federation (PHF) had suspended its senior official Bahre Karam for two years for having association with a provincial body which is affiliated with the parallel KP Olympic association.

Khalid, who is also the secretary of the Sports Commission, also said that baseball (women) and rugby (women) were also included in the National Games. “We have included baseball women on the grounds that Pakistan women baseball team has qualified for the Asian Baseball Cup which also serves as qualifiers for the World Championship. So featuring in the National Games will provide them practice ahead of their national duty,” Khalid said.

“Women rugby had been excluded on the ground that they had not held any national championship. But the commission has been provided with the documents of the championship and so the discipline was included,” Khalid said.

He said that Balochistan Director Sports was told that the venues for National Games had not yet been prepared.

Khalid said that the sports commission would meet again next week to finalise the events of the National Games. “It was a long meeting and so we decided to meet again in four to five days to finalise the events,” the official said.

To a query, Khalid said that PJF had been asked for a table talk. It would be appropriate to have a debate on the differences which would help to resolve the dispute, he added.

POA’s senior vice-president Syed Aqil Shah chaired the commission meeting which was also attended by Col Junaid Alam, who is also president of Pakistan Judo Federation (PJF).

Published in The News, 28 July 2017