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July 15, 2019

Judo, cycling, athletics: POA trying to resolve parallel bodies issue

Sports

July 15, 2019

KARACHI: In a bid to ensure participation of judo, cycling and athletics in the 33rd National Games, Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) has taken an initiative to resolve the pressing issues of these three federations.

The POA’s stand is that the provincial associations, which are affiliated with these three internationally-recognised federations, are not recognised by the relevant provincial Olympic associations.

The first step was successful when last Thursday a three-member mediation committee of POA resolved the issue of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Judo Association. POA secretary Khalid Mehmood, KP Olympic Association’s secretary Zulfiqar Butt and PJF secretary Mansoor Ahmed were members of the mediation committee which resolved the issue.

Two parallel provincial judo associations existed in KP. The committee inducted a few members of the provincial judo association affiliated with the KP Olympic Association in the PJF-recognised KP judo association.

Sources said Naeem Jan (secretary), Bushra Afridi (joint secretary), Amir (joint secretary), Bilal Shafi (joint secretary), Syed Usman Shah (senior vice-president), Shah Faisal (vice-president) and Noor Shah Afridi (vice-president) were inducted in the PJF-recognised provincial unit. These people previously belonged to the KP Judo Association which was affiliated with the KP Olympic Association but not affiliated with PJF.

There is now only one KP Judo Association headed by Masood Ahmed. It has now become an affiliated unit of both KP Olympic Association and PJF.

Previously KP Olympic Association did not recognise Masood-led association which was affiliated with the PJF. KP Olympic Association’s president Syed Aqil Shah played a key role in the whole episode.

Sources said the differences were resolved and both the groups embraced each other. A source said Aqil Shah appreciated the step. He said that it was the first step towards a resolution of the dispute and hopefully associations in other provinces would follow suit.

The sources said PJF president Col Junaid Alam also played a key role in the resolution of the dispute in KP. POA did not recognise PJF due to some legal issues despite the fact that the federation was affiliated with International Judo Federation (IJF).

On July 25, an effort will be made during a meeting in Lahore to resolve judo issues in Sindh and Punjab. In Balochistan, there is no such issue, with the only association affiliated with PJF and Balochistan Olympic Association.

The resolution of these issues in Sindh and Punjab would bring both POA and PJF together. PJF secretary Mansoor Ahmed, POA secretary Khalid Mehmood and the secretaries of Sindh Olympic Association (SOA) and Punjab Olympic Association would sit together as mediators to resolve judo issues in Sindh and Punjab.

Cycling issue will be discussed at Lahore on July 24. The mediation committee for cycling consists of Pakistan Cycling Federation’s (PCF) secretary Azhar Ali Shah, POA secretary Khalid and they will be joined by the secretaries of the relevant provincial Olympic associations in case of the relevant provincial issues. PCF has also convened a general council meeting on July 25. The federation wants to take input of the house on the issues which will be discussed by the mediation committee.

The mediation committee for resolving athletics issues carries Athletics Federation of Pakistan’s (AFP) secretary Mohammad Zafar and POA secretary Khalid. They will be joined by secretaries of the provincial Olympic associations.

The sources said POA had informed AFP that there were issues only in Sindh and Balochistan. However, it has been learnt that in the recent letter which POA wrote to AFP it has been mentioned that all provinces had issues. AFP is considering presenting the crux of the discussion of the mediation committee before its ExCo, which is expected to be convened immediately after the July 23 meeting of the mediation committee in Lahore.

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