Friday June 21, 2024

Pak football team not to be part of Asian Games

By Abdul Mohi Shah
June 06, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Normalisation Committee (NC) has opted out of the 19th Asian Games to be held in China as federation's officials had a brainstorming session with the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) top brass on the formation of national contingent for the mega event. The PSB DG Shoaib Khoso chaired the meeting in which the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) secretary Mohammad Khalid Mehmood confirmed that the PFF NC has opted out of the Games. “The PFF NC has not only failed to meet accreditation deadline, it has also communicated it had no plan to participate in the Asian Games owing to financial constraints. That means that the football game that had the largest 26 members contingent will not participate in the Games. The time to seek accreditation has already passed confirming that Pakistan will not be represented on the football field at the Asian Games,” Khalid said.

Every federation representative including hockey, martial arts and other leading sports presented their cases for reasonable participation and government financial support. 'The News' has learnt that the hockey federation will be financially supported by the government considering the fact that the game is Pakistan flag carrier.

In all, the PSB is expected to support around 170 members. The strength could be increased with stress on financing those sports that have the ability to bring laurels to the country.

“We are at initial stages of gathering information and making adjustments where these are required. Once we gather all information from participating federations, we will be in a better position to see how best we can accommodate different federations,” Shoaib Khoso, when contacted, said.

“Majority of the participants were of the view that the government must keep those federations at the top which performed outstandingly in the last Asian Games. The medal-winning sports must be supported first, especially those which won laurels for the country in the last Asian Games,” an official said.

He said that federations having no record of winning medals at the Asian Games should not be preferred. “Though it was just an initial meeting, there is a need to support those athletes who are expected to win medals,” he added. Cricket, rugby and mind sports are expected to take care of their travelling and expenses. The POA has proposed a 486-member contingent for the 19th Asian Games scheduled for Hangzhou (China) from September 23 to October 8.