ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Director General Syed Amir Hamza Gillani made it clear that the forthcoming National Games will be held as per schedule while interim committee of the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) headed by Asif Bajwa was taking all steps with the support of federal government.

Talking to The Nation on Monday, Gillani said: “We do not accept Syed Arif Hasan as the POA head as he has played his innings and now as per the ruling of Supreme Court of Pakistan and the instructions of the Senate Standing Committee the Interim Committee will hold the National Games as well as the POA elections.”

He said the 32nd National Games would be staged here at Pakistan Sports Complex from June 28 while elections of the POA would be held on July 5 at a local hotel. “We are busy in preparations of the Games and also started renovation of different venues to host this event in befitting manner,” Gilani added. He said Maj Gen (retd) Akram Sahi was running for the top slot of the POA having the support of large number of sports federations.

“I must tell you that the federations, which are supporting Arif Hassan, are breaching the law of land and can lose their affiliation with the POA as well as the PSB. I am in favour of imposing bans on such federations as they are not only working against the ruling of Supreme Court of Pakistan but also breaching the sports policy,” he added.

IOC-backed POA chief Arif Hasan on number of occasions warned the interim committee and the PSB to not intervene in the matters of the POA otherwise the International Olympic Committee would impose a ban on Pakistan preventing Pakistani athletes’ participation in international events. “We do not care of any expected ban. We have to implement the ‘law of land’ and will hold the POA elections well in time,” Gillani concluded.