PSB, POA set to mend fences

Abdul Mohi Shah
Sunday, Apr 09, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Governing Board that met under its President Ehsanur Rehman Mazari (Minister for Inter-provincial Coordination) has decided to constitute a four-member committee to discuss and resolve the pending constitutional dispute with Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) in accordance with the Sports (Development and Control) Ordinance 1962.

'The News' has learned from sources privy to the Board meeting that the Committee to coordinate and discuss pending issues with the POA will consist of Faratullah Babar, Director General PSB, Javed Memon (HEC), and PSB Legal.

The decision was taken in light of recent concerns shown by the POA in several communique forwarded to the Prime Minister and to the Ministry of IPC on the new PSB Constitution approved recently.

The POA has stated that the current constitution of the Pakistan Sports Board is violating the undertaking of Govt. Of Pakistan (GOP) given to the International Sports Organisations in 2014 that, “GOP follows the principles of non-interference in the organisations and entities relating to sports.”

The POA has shown its serious concerns about provisions of government-controlled Election Commission to conduct elections of National Sports Federations (NSF), government-controlled Dispute Resolution along with other clauses that according to the body are against the international norms and established rules prevailing under the IOC and international sports bodies charter.

“The Prime Minister's Office has recently directed PSB that all the issues pertaining to Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) regarding the PSB’s Constitution may be placed in the Board meeting of PSB for resolution in line with sports ordinance 1962. The Constitution of the PSB should be subject to the international obligations/ commitments of Pakistan. Moreover, the PM Office also directed that President, POA, or his representative may be engaged during the resolution of the issues under intimation to the quarter concerned,” members of the PSB Governing Board were told.

It has been agreed in the Board meeting to constitute a Committee to negotiate with POA on the issues pointed out in several letters written to all the concerns.

“The Committee has been empowered to discuss all pertaining issues in length and breadth before submitting its report with the PSB GoB if possible in the next meeting.

“For effective sports relations, it is a must to develop a working relationship with all the stakeholders. Unless and until such a mutual working relationship is not in order, getting the best out of sports federations and other related stakeholders is not possible,” one of the members when contacted said.

The POA’s main concern had been that the 1962 PSB constitution guarantees to oversee federations’ elections and other related activities. “POA and sports federations’ relation with the PSB had been smooth throughout these years till the time, efforts by interested quarters were made to upstage the system that ultimately proved counterproductive. It is a must for every federation affiliated with its parent international body to follow the given constitution where any direct government interference is unacceptable. At the same time, the international bodies want these federations to develop good relations with the respective governments without disturbing the international bodies' given rules and parameters. The aim of the government and POA is to work for the development of sports in the country and that is achievable provided all the stakeholders stay within the laid down parameters,” one of the federation officials said.

He hoped that sanity would prevail and every sports stakeholder will help and coordinate with each other in raising the standard of sports in the country.