Pak likely to face IOC ban as national sports scenario gets murky

Lahore: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is likely to ban Pakistan, as the sports scenario in the country has become murky due to a rift between the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) and the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) - the national body that governs the country``s various sports organisations.

The Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) and national sports federations have decided to move a contempt petition against the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) if it tries to violate the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, or take any illegal step to implement the National Sports Policy, reports the Daily Times.

The PSB wants to implement the National Sports Policy, under which no national sports federation head can have more than two tenures, and expects the POA to follow suit. But, the POA has refused to follow the PSB directives, saying the POA is an autonomous body that will only follow International Olympic Committee (IOC) rules, the paper said.

POA chief Syed Arif Hasan has categorically reiterated that it had no affiliation with the PSB and enjoyed independent status.

"We follow the IOC Charter in Pakistan. It is in the larger interest of our country``s sports to resolve this issue as soon as possible because any forced action on implementing the National Sports Policy on the POA or the national sports federations could damage the Olympic Movement in Pakistan and will be in violation of the Olympic Charter. It may draw any extreme action or sanctions from the IOC," Arif added.

Arif said the POA had written letters to the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan to look into the matter to safeguard the interest of sports and the Olympic Movement in the country.

"The present situation in Pakistan sports has become very serious. For the last couple of months our utmost effort has been to resolve the issue as per the Olympic Charter but in vain. The POA do not want something that may put a question mark on the future of Pakistan sports or have a deeply injurious impact on the image of an already isolated nation. Any violation of the IOC Charter will invite sanctions," he said.