Pakistan may face suspension from the International Olympic Council (IOC) like neighbours India due to a conflict between the national Olympic Association and a newly formed interim-committee, backed by the government.
The Pakistan Sports Board has appointed an interim committee to run the POA affairs but Lt. General (retd.) Arif Hasan, who has been heading the POA as President for seven years, claims that the committee is illegal and not recognised by the IOC.
The PSB, a government body, has said that it had appointed the interim committee after the Supreme Court approved the new sports policy for all sports bodies and under it no official could be elected for a third term.
Ironically the ruling came after Arif Hasan was elected as POA president for a third term last December and the decision was challenged.
On Saturday Mr. Hasan-led POA held a meeting in Lahore and 24 hours later the interim committee headed by Asif Bajwa announced it was banning all those federations and bodies that attended the ‘illegal’ POA meeting for five years.
It also announced a five-year ban on Mr. Hasan, while confirming it would be holding the national games on schedule.
There is also conflict between the two over the national games as the Hasan-led POA held the games in Lahore some months back.
“The government has released us a grant of 80 million rupees to stage the games in a befitting manner. The meeting called by Arif Hasan was illegal,” Mr. Bajwa said.
The General Council meeting of POA was held under the chairmanship Mr. Bajwa and disaffiliated the federations, which attended illegal meeting convened by Hasan on Saturday.
“We have also banned the officials, who attended Arif Hasan’s meeting from participating in any sports activity in any capacity for a period of five years,” Mr. Bajwa told reporters after the interim-committee meeting.
Mr. Hasan, however, warned that Pakistan was very close to getting suspended by the IOC.
“The IOC does not tolerate government interference in national Olympic bodies at any level,” he said.
“The POA elections in which I was elected were held under the IOC rules and regulations and the PSB has no right to appoint an interim committee. If the IOC suspends Pakistan it would be because of a few vested interests, out to destroy sports,” he said.