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May 4, 2021

Federations outrightly reject election and judicial commissions


May 4, 2021

KARACHI: National sports federations on Monday outrightly rejected the independent election commission and sports judicial commission which have been incorporated in the proposed national sports policy being given a final shape these days by the government.

In a general council meeting of the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), conducted virtually, the federations rejected the move by the government, saying it would be an inteference in their internal affairs.

The POA chief Lt Gen (retd) Syed Arif Hasan chaired the meeting from Olympic House in Lahore.

The federations said that these steps would be a direct violation of the Olympic charter.

Federation sources said that a big judicial forum exists in the shape of Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) and under it there are judicial forums of international federations (IFs) and national federations.

The federations said that there are clauses in the constitutions of the IFs about autonomy and if any national federation dares to violate it it faces suspension.

The federations said, according to insiders, that sports policies are not formed in closed-door meetings. They said before going for such policies first their main targets are identified and their national and international implications are debated.

The federations expressed surprise that they were not aware of even a single clause of the proposed policy. “We don’t have any documents. Even the officials of some federations who had been invited by the IPC minister have been not given any policy document,” an insider said.

“Every federation has its own system as they have to follow the rules and regulations of their international bodies, who are affiliated with the International Olympic Committee (IOC),” a federation official said.

“Some federations have clubs-based system, some have province-based system and some have country-based system,” the official said.

A POA press release said that the General Council resolved to abide by the provisions of the Olympic charter. “The National Sports Federations are entitled to independently govern their affairs, operations and functions in particular their structure, membership, governance of sports, electoral processes, dispute resolution mechanisms etc,” the release said.

“The General Council stressed that the rules, laws and policy guidelines cannot be productive if these are made without extensive academic and scientific study,” it said.

The General Council urged the government to uphold its "commitment made with IOC, OCA, ASOIF, ANOC and NOC Pakistan vide Ministry of IPC Letter dated July 03, 2014 following the Lausanne Agreement".

It was decided that a delegation of POA led by its president Arif Hasan would call upon the Prime Minister and Minister for IPC to present the position of the IOC, POA and NSFs.

It was resolved that the POA and federations / associations would continue to work in harmony with the government for the promotion of sports while respecting the basic fundamentals of autonomy and the rights of each stakeholder, the POA release said.

POA secretary Khalid Mehmood told 'The News' that the sports policy document had been sent to the Prime Minister without being shared with the POA, federations and other stakeholders.

It has been learnt that the policy draft had been sent to the PM but he returned it and advised the IPC ministry to take input of all the stakeholders before sending it again.

POA senior vice-president Syed Aqil Shah said that before going for any sports policy there should be a seminar with representatives from all stakeholders present.

“There should be three members from the POA, one each from federations, provincial Olympic associations and POA-affiliated departments and Pakistan Sports Writers Federation (PSWF) so that things could be openly discussed,” Shah told 'The News' from Peshawar.

Shah stressed that the bureaucracy should be kept away from this process. He said that the IPC minister should focus on facilitating the devolution process of the devolved ministries instead of creating complications.

Pakistan Gymnastics Federation (PGF) president Ahmad Ali Rajput said that the government was creating parallelism within federations by such moves. He said that the government provides funds to only those federations which obey its orders.

“PGF has not been given even a single penny since 2010,” Ahmad Ali said.

He said the 2005 sports policy had also been made without taking the stakeholders into confidence. Any such move which created an issue for Olympic movement would be outrightly rejected, he added.