Saturday September 18, 2021

‘Board met all expenses of ten athletes, three officials for Tokyo Olympics’

‘Board met all expenses of ten athletes, three officials for Tokyo Olympics’

KARACHI: Reacting to the Pakistan Olympic Association’s (POA) statement about sports development in the country, the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Director General Col (retd) Asif Zaman on Tuesday said that the Board had met all the expenses of ten athletes and three officials featuring in the Tokyo Olympics.

“We have completely covered all kinds of expenses of ten athletes, two coaches and contingent’s chef de mission featuring in the Olympics. We have also paid NADO for the Covid tests of the athletes and handed over daily allowance to all the athletes who are in Tokyo. The daily allowance has been increased from 20 US dollars to 40,” Asif said.

He said after the devolution of sports under the 18th amendment it was the responsibility of the provinces to work for sports development. He said that the Board was fulfilling its obligations and had never deviated from its stance to provide infrastructure and other facilities to the federations.

“It is up to the federations to approach us with a plan and we will provide everything to them. There are some players who are working on an individual basis. Today I called Talha Talib’s father and told him that . . . he should contact the PSB and we will back him for the development of Talha,” Asif said.

He said that the Rs440 million which the PSB surrendered at the end of the last financial year had not been released by the finance division. “That money was aimed for infrastructure development and was in the development fund and we could not utilise that for the athletes development. And as it could not be released so we surrendered that amount in order to fulfil the formalities,” Asif said.

He said it was the responsibility of the federations to send genuine coaches with the athletes on tours like the Olympics . “I don’t think it’s a right thing to ignore coaches on such tours as coaches can handle the athletes well and can motivate them well,” said Asif, a former squash player.

He said that the federations would have to work hard for achieving the Vision 2024 as the state would like to see more athletes qualifying for the Paris Olympics. More efforts would be made to ensure that Pakistan had a stronger contingent at 2024 Paris Olympics, Asif said.

He said that a hefty amount was needed for sports development.