POA chief rues no prep for C’wealth Games

LAHORE – Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) president Lt Gen (r) Syed Arif Hassan has lamented that no training camps of national teams have been started yet which could hamper Pakistan’s chances in the next year’s Common Wealth Games.

Talking to the reporters here on Wednesday, Gen Arif said: “The federations have been preparing for the Commonwealth Games on self-finance basis, however, the government hasn’t devised any plan in this regard, which can hamper Pakistan’s chances in the mega event.”

He said Pakistani players would take part in 30 events out of 42. “There is a dire need to train the players well for the event for which there is a need to establish training camps on urgent basis. The government should take the federations in confidence in order to make a comprehensive plan so that the players might be trained well for winning medals.”

The POA president termed the Inter-Provincial Games as wastage of money because they are going to be held without any proper planning and consultations with the national federations. “If the government wants to organise the youth games, it must start conducting competitions at school, college and university level and then the top performers may compete in the Inter-provincial games. It is the right way to get the best talent, which can also help the country win laurels at international level.”

Gen Arif pointed out towards the preparations of India, who has allocated Rs 1,730 crore for 2020 Tokyo Olympics. “To prepare for the Olympics, the Indians would also be preparing well for Commonwealth and Asian Games. The performances of their players will be checked thoroughly during these two events, which will help them overcome their shortcomings well before Olympics. We also need plan well for Olympics, for which we need government’s all-out support, as it is the only viable solution to win Olympic medals.” To a query regarding the issue of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), the POA chief said after cricket, football is played and followed in the entire country. “At NOC level, we have talked to FIFA, and I hope the matter of PFF suspension will be resolved amicably.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan Olympic Association in collocation with Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) will host ‘the first fun race’ regarding the 18th Asian Games here at the Wapda Sports Complex today (Thursday). The purpose of race is to create awareness among masses about sports.

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