KARACHI: Pakistan will host the 14th Asian Games in December 2021 according to the rules. Due to Covid-19 and inaction on the part of the Pakistani government, nothing has been made final by the hosts. The good news is, POA and the IPC Ministry will meet this week to discuss the 14th South Asian Games.
“Yesterday we received a letter from the IPC ministry that the minister wanted to meet with POA officials on November 5 to discuss the South Asian Games,” said POA chairman Lt. Gen. (ret.) Syed Arif Hasan at a press conference in Jakarta, Saturday. “I hope some developments will be made,” he added quickly.
Pakistan handed over the SAG flag at the closing ceremony of the 13th Asian Games in Nepal last December.
As a rule, certain guarantees must be given to the POA by the government which the NOC will submit before the South Asian Olympic Committee (SAOC) and then a date will be set for the biennial spectacle.
The Pakistani government has not provided guarantees which are a prerequisite for organizing such a large event.
Arif said that they may not be able to host the Olympics in December 2021. “As per the rules we have to hold the Olympics in December 2021 but due to Covid-19 and other issues it seems a bit difficult to meet that SAOC deadline. , “Said Arif.
He said that POA wanted to hold shows in four major cities of Punjab. “We want to hold matches in Lahore, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Gujranwala. This is our plan but it is not final yet, ”said Arif.
“Lahore will be the center. Sialkot is a global sporting goods marketplace and we would like to hold several competitions in the disciplines whose equipment is manufactured in Sialkot. Gujranwala has produced the best wrestlers and weightlifters and holding such events there will further increase the interest of young people in this discipline, “said Arif, also vice president of the Asian Olympic Council (OCA).
“If four halls are established in Gujranwala it will increase interest further because infrastructure is very important for sport development,” said the POA chairman quickly adding.
“Faisalabad has become a potential market for the garment industry and local governments and entrepreneurs can support the Olympics,” he explained.
“Lahore has a big heritage and tourism factor. These cities are very closely related and communication between athletes and officials will be easy, “said Arif.
For questions regarding India’s participation given the tense relations between the two countries, Arif said while citing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) charter that those who would not send their contingents and those who would not issue visas might face suspension.
“The IOC rules are clear,” said Arif, hinting that either India cannot refuse to enter its contingent in the SAG or Pakistan cannot refuse to issue visas to the Indian contingent.
He explained that Pakistan’s top shooter, who qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, weightlifter Talha Talib and karateka Saadi Abbas were included in the IOC scholarship.
“We want the athletes who have not yet qualified to qualify and who have passed will receive quality training and the press to win medals on the big world stage,” said Arif.
“In the meeting with the minister I will demand the government to spend a lot of money for these athletes,” said the POA chairman.
He said Karachi will host the Birmingham Commonwealth Queen Games Queens Baton Relay 2022 in December 2021. “It starts from Mazaar-e-Quaid and will pass through various sites before being taken out to sea,” said Arif.
He said Lahore will host the first digital athlete forum, supported by the IOC, on November 14 and 15 2020. IOC chairman Thomas Bach will speak to Pakistani athletes, via video link, he said.
He also revealed that POA medical personnel have benefited from the IOC program. He said eight coaching courses had been organized by POA with the support of the IOC and 460 coaches from eight sports disciplines had received international certification since 2017.
He dismissed the impression that after the devolution of the federal government’s role in sports development had ended. “The federal government has always played a role in the development of elite athletes,” said Arif.
Asked, he said POA received funds from the IOC only for administrative costs.
Arif said the 6th Asian Beach Games to be held by China next year could not be confirmed.