Athletes’ outstanding show at SAG, a result of better training facilities, Fehmida

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 08 (APP):Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination Dr Fehmida Mirza on Sunday said that Pakistan athletes’ outstanding performance in the ongoing 13th South Asian Games was the result of better training facilities provided to them by the government and its various departments.

In a statement issued here, the minister said that for several year, Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) had remained failed to hold National Games.

“The PSB held training camps for athletes of different disciplines soon after (the recently-held) National Games. Had it (POA) even organized National Games in March or April this year, the board would have held training camps to prepare athletes for SAG for longer duration,” she said.

Referring to a press release issued by the POA that appeared in a section of press, the minister said that the POA was now trying to hide its dereliction of duty with players’ performance at SAG. “The POA was blaming PSB now. But the reality is that the decision to hold National Games (by PSB) ahead of SAG has put a positive impact on players’ performance as they are bringing laurels for the country by earning medals,” she said.

Pakistan athletes so far have claimed 93 medals, including 26 gold, 32 silver and 35 bronze. Expressing pleasure at their stunning show, the minister noted that Pakistan contingent’s performance in the ongoing edition of the SAG had been better as compared to the last edition of the Games. She said that the government had sent the contingent for SAG after a deep reflection.

She said that the POA instead of blaming PSB should have included some other sports disciplines in the contingent.

“The board is fulfilling its duties and it keeps on holding camps for various sports during the entire year,” she said.

She said that Pakistan’s Chef de Mission and deputy Chef de Mission for SAG boosted players’ morale and the result of that could be noted in their performance.

The minister also clarified that the IPC Ministry at no point said that the 424-member contingent proposed by the POA should not be sent for SAG.

She said that due to indifferent attitude of POA, the country’s football and cycling contingents could not participate in SAG. She noted that these federations were meted out injustice as they had differences with the POA.

She said that even the judo squad departed for SAG when the board insisted for that.

The minister said that POA had proposed the names of 18 administrative officers for the SAG, which also included some PSB officials. She said that inclusion of PSB official names without its (board’s) approval was an interference in the affairs of board.

She said that in ‘Naya Pakistan’ there was no room for joyriding on government funds.

She said that was the PSB decided that only four officials would leave for SAG to look after administrative matters.

She said while discouraging joyriding the POA’s recommended officials were not sent for SAG. Those who were not sent included Idrees Haider Khawaja, Zulfiqar Ali Butt, Iman Ahmed Khan, Asif Azeem, Muhmmad Razzaq Gill, Iftikhar Ahmed Awan, Nabeel Ahmed Rana, Sami Ullah, Muhammad Aslam, Muhammad Jahangir, Muhammad Shafiq and Asad Abbas Shah.