Pakistan's CWG participation in limbo

Karachi, PTI | Updated : 28 July 2013, 07:05 PM

Pakistan could miss out on competing in next year's Commonwealth Games as it has failed to send entries due to an ongoing tussle between the International Olympic Committee-recognised Pakistan Olympic Association and the state-controlled Pakistan Sports Board.

The PSB does not recognise the POA led by Arif Hasan and recently encouraged and supported the elections of a parallel Pakistan Olympic Association body and also released Rs 80 million for the organisation of National Games in Islamabad.

The PSB and its supported organisation, led by Akram Sahi, are not recognised by the IOC.

In all this the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) is now paying the price for siding with the parallel POA as the invitation by the CWG organisers to send a contingent including the hockey team for the games has been sent to the Hasan-led POA.

"We don't want to see Pakistan hockey team not playing in the Commonwealth games which is a major event. We have forwarded the invitation to the PHF and sent them reminders to confirm their participation with a Letter of Intent to be sent to the organisers of the CWG. But they have not responded as yet and the deadline already extended by the CWG for us expires on Monday," Hasan said.

"It would be sad if our hockey team can't play in the CWG but people out to hurt Pakistan sports must remember they can ride roughshod over us in Pakistan but internationally they have no recognition or standing," he said.

PHF secretary Asif Bajwa said that he had written letters to the PSB and the POA led by Sahi to resolve the issue with the CWG organisers.

"What are we supposed to do in this situation. We have told them that the government now needs to take a decision on the hockey team's participation in the CWG which is a very crucial event for us in our World Cup preparations," Bajwa said.

"If there is no decision from the government than the worst is Pakistan hockey team will not go for the CWG and that would be most unfortunate but we are in no position to do anything by ourselves," he added.

Sources said that Bajwa had already contacted the International Hockey Federation asking them to convince the CWG hockey organisers to send an invitation directly to the PHF but so far hasn't succeeded.

Hasan said that for multinational sporting events like Olympics, Commonwealth Games or Asian Games no country could participate without the support of the IOC.

"I have been repeatedly saying that if this crisis is not resolved Pakistan's membership could also be suspended by the IOC and that would be catastrophic for Pakistan sports. We have already seen this happen in India," Hasan said.

First Published: Sunday, July 28, 2013 07:04 PM
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