Islamabad: the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) proposed Lahore and Faisalabad as possible locations for the 14-th edition of South Asian games (SAG) in 2022.
In a press conference via video link on Friday, the President of PD LT General (R) Arif Hasan said that since Islamabad has twice passed the game, it would be Lahore and Faisalabad to conduct the next edition.
“There are many reasons for this,” he said. “First and foremost, you need to have a big crowd at such events and as Lahore and Faisalabad have sufficient support for sports activities. Young people in these cities are already involved in Olympic sports.
“To host the Games in these cities, it will generate interest among young people, and it will be like our future investments.
“Islamabad has twice passed in games, so it’s time to have them in other cities where we can expect a much larger crowd of more interest to the event.”
The Federal government sets over three and a half billion rupees at the South Asian games in the budget 2020-21. The amount will mainly be spent on up-gradation of facilities in Islamabad and Peshawar, where the government plans to hold the mega event.
“First we have to decide which city is best suited to host the Games in 2022. We proposed Lahore and Faisalabad as potential owners. As the national Olympic Committee, it is our right to offer the host cities. Therefore, funds should be used for modernisation or construction of sports facilities in these cities,” the General said Arif.
The President of the POA said they wrote a letter to the Ministry of inter-provincial coordination and the Pakistan sports Board on this issue. “So far we have not received any response from the government. We sent several reminders and will look for other options as soon as we feel we were not listened to,” he said.
General Arif stressed the need for making joint efforts to help Pakistan sports. “We have to respect each other. You can only improve coordination to help us achieve our goal-to see our athletes win medals at international level,” he said.
He urged the government to include all stakeholders in the Committee formed for the revision of the national policy in the field of sports. “To avoid any misunderstanding and future implications, the government should take feedback from all stakeholders and include the main components of the policy review Committee in the field of sports.”
The President of the POA also expressed concern over the formation of the Board of PSB without representation hockey and some other important sports federations.
“The Council has to make decisions for the good of the sport in Pakistan. I was surprised not to see the name of our national sport to the list of members. No football Federation, but it is included in this list. There must have been some place for Olympic and non-Olympic sports. More importantly, the Board should meet regularly”, he said.
General Arif also showed that Birmingham, which will host the Commonwealth Games 2022, considering the changes in format, as well as the competition amid the changing situation.
“We recently held a meeting with the organizers on video. They have various proposals that were discussed with the member States, and one of them was axe several events, including filming from a list of disciplines. It’s just a continuous process, as we will have more such meetings in future”, – said head of the POA.
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