Saturday December 03, 2022

High level meeting to discuss sports policy today

December 03, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Approval and implementation of the proposed National Sports Policy will be on the top of agenda in a high-level meeting to be chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan today (Friday).

Besides the federal minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC), provincial sports ministers and all the related officials are expected to attend the meeting.

The federal government’s resolve in the new sports policy is to put all the sporting units under its control. The government’s contention is that since it supports the federations financially, it is the federal government’s prerogative to streamline their affairs.

The Ministry for IPC with Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) as its executioner unit is plannning to hold all the federations’ elections through its own established election commission. The ministry also plans to establish a commission (tribunal) to look into the grievances of players and officials’ complaints against any sporting unit.

Barring a few selected federations close to the government and the PSB, all have rejected the new proposed sports policy on the pretext that it is in direct violation of the federations’ constitution.

The federations say that their election process is governed by the international federations’ rules and regulations and as such these would follow their parent bodies’ regulations and rules. The other complaint of these federations is that they were never consulted seriously by the Ministry of IPC and if they forwarded any amendment, the government never paid heed to it. These federations say that all affiliated federations should have been invited to discuss these issues before the formation of such a policy.

“The draft sports policy was not circulated to any of the stakeholders and as such had no input from them. Reportedly just a few were consulted and a fresh draft was finalised and sent to the PM for his approval,” the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) General Council meeting held recently, observed.

The POA Council expressed its sincere appreciation to Prime Minister Imran Khan for his foresight and understanding whereby he reportedly returned the first draft Sports Policy with the instructions that all stakeholders must be consulted, and input be obtained.

“Even then the draft of the Sports Policy was not circulated. Instead, three or four sports federations were called individually by Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza. They were just asked as to what they thought of the Sports Policy. All expressed their ignorance and surprise as they had not read or seen the Sports Policy,” the POA Council observed.

The House offered every cooperation and commitment to working in complete harmony and understanding with all stakeholders, especially the Ministry of IPC for the promotion of sports in Pakistan.

“The government support is a must for the promotion of sports. POA and the federations are ready to cooperate fully with the IPC Ministry. However, such cooperation should be on an equal partnership basis, respecting the role and authority of each member of the team,” the POA Council said in its joint declaration.

Other agenda items of Friday’s meeting include considering changes in the PSB constitution in wake of recent observations of Islamabad High Court.