Monday September 20, 2021

National council to be formed, says freshly-drafted Sports Policy

July 31, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The fresh draft of the National Sports Policy has recommended the establishment of the National Sports Council (NSC) headed by the Prime Minister.

The fresh draft was circulated among the stakeholders on Friday according to which NSC will be established to ensure implementation of Sports Policy directives laid out in the document and to coordinate with the stakeholders.

The Council will meet at least once a year or whenever the chairperson deemed necessary.

This correspondent has filed over 15 stories during the last five months on the new sports policy. The first Policy document that was sent for the Prime Minister’s approval without taking stakeholders in confidence (published on March 25, 2021) was returned to the Ministry with the directives to seek stakeholders point of view on the clauses.

Later, the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) and federations in a meeting (published on May 4, 2021) rejected the Policy and vowed to protect and safeguard federations’ autonomy.

‘The News’ has already reported that all the leading federations have rejected the Sports Policy clauses, especially those saying that an independent commission would conduct each federation’s election and that a tribunal would be formed to look into the federations’ decisions, especially dealing with disciplinary actions . These federations say that their election laws are governed by the international sports laws and they will continue to follow them.

Meanwhile, there is no mention in the Policy of any restriction on any federation for election or nomination of Chairman. The policy document binds the president, secretary and treasurer not to seek a third term in office.

Besides the Prime Minister, the NSC will consist of a Federal Minister (dealing with sports as vice-chairperson), federal Minister of Education, provincial sports ministers, federal secretary IPC, chairman HEC, Director General PSB and representatives of three sports federations.

Surprisingly there is no mention of a POA representative in the committee. The biggest stakeholder in any country that is authorised to look after the Olympic Movement has always been the national Olympic committee. However, POA has not been made part of the NSC.

Following are the key clauses:

A single tenure of any member of a federation or association will be four years.

Tenure restrictions will not be applicable to the office-bearers holding posts of the President or Secretary of World/Asian Federation.

An office bearer of one federation or association, except the representatives of departments, will not be allowed to be a member of any other federation or association within the country. However, he or she will be allowed to hold office in international federations and associations. Key office bearers like Presidents, General Secretaries, and Treasurers are barred from securing more than two consecutive terms of four years each. It is reiterated that none of these office bearers shall hold any office for more than eight years at a stretch. They will, however, be eligible for election to higher posts after a gap of four years. The proposed Election Commission will enforce this.

The tendency of creating parallel federation will be discouraged.