Sunday September 19, 2021

‘Sports policy to ensure our ‘athletes directly qualify for Olympics’

August 05, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Director General Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Asif Zaman said on Wednesday that the federations should hunt for talented players at the grassroots level who could qualify for the Olympics.

They must make efforts to find talent at schools and in small districts rather than picking any individual and sending them to Olympics on wild card without any training and coaching, he said while talking to 'The News'.

He said that the new sports policy would restrict such practices in future.

The annual budget for PSB is Rs1 billion a year which is non-development fund. Out of the total, Rs600 million is spent on sports development which includes the training of athletes, their travelling, grants and coaching, Rs130 million is for utility bills and other small expenses, and Rs270 million is for salaries of PSB employees.

Asif said that the Indian government releases Rs300 billion for sports every year and stressed that Pakistan should also increase its annual budget.

He said countries which are not able to qualify for the Olympics are given wild cards. He added the wild card entry is not given on merit and is aimed at promoting sports in countries which fall behind.

It is pertinent to mention here that six out of the 10 who represented Pakistan at Tokyo Olympics had not qualified and went on the basis of wild card entry.

Talha Talib, the weightlifter who came close to achieving a medal, was among the ones who were given wild card entry.

Arshad Nadeem who qualified for finals in men's javelin throw competitions on Wednesday, is among the four contestants who qualified for the Olympics. The other three were shooters Ghulam Mustafa Bashir, Khalil Akhtar and Gulfam Joseph.

Najma Parveen who competed in athletics, Mahoor Shehzad in badminton, Shah Hussain Shah in judo, and Bisma Khan and Haseeb Tariq in swimming were those who were given wild card tickets to take part in Olympics.