ISLAMABAD, Jul 12 (APP):Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Director General Col. (Retd) Muhammad Asif Zaman believes that medals and laurels can only be won by setting targets high like the Olympics.
“We can win medals by setting our target high like the Olympic Games. I have given cash awards to the youngsters who have won the World and junior Championships. We will support the youth through talent hunt and by all means,” he said in a meet the press here at the Pakistan Sports Complex on Monday.
“We will move by taking all stake holders on board. My priority will be sportsman and this is why I have declared this year as a Sports Year,” he said.
“We are celebrating the 70th year anniversary with China and we also have our 75th Independence Day (August 14). We will continue to hold the sports activities from the Independence Day till the whole year around as to promote youth by holding activities in the regions and the whole country,” he said.
Zaman said we want sports activities to open which has been come to a standstill due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic around the globe. “We want to bring children to the grounds so that we can regain our place in the games,” he said.
He said the Tokyo Olympics were just around the corner and our preparations were almost complete. “PSB hopes and prays that our athletes win medals in the event,” he said.
Zaman was of the view that we have to prepare for the Asian Games, Common Wealth Games to be held in the near future. “We will start doing homework for it. After Eid I want the national sports federations to come and share their activity plan with us.
Whatever requirement they have (foreign coaches) we will fulfil it,” he said and added that we will also be hosting the South Asian Games (SAG) in March 2023.
He was of the view that we should prioritize the Olympic Sports by giving them more grant and attention so that we can win medals for the country. “The government is supporting us by all means. I will bring my own team and we have worked on the restructuring.”
To a question, he said PSB supports the athletes and coaches by means of tickets for the international event. “For the Olympics we are supporting 10 athletes and three coaches.
We were also in coordination with the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) in this regard,” he said.
He said we need two to three years for the planning of any Games. “My target is to well plan for the upcoming future games and I have had a meeting with POA Chief who is in the US and with Secretary. We will immediately hold a meeting after Eid for the games.
All the games of SAG are planned in Lahore. But we desire that games should also be held in Islamabad and Peshawar for which we will sit and decide,” he said.
Zaman said he had held meeting with the Chinese and Cuban ambassadors and have requested them to provide us with coaches.
“The national sports federations didn’t get grant for three years but when I came I provided 31 federations with grant. But federations also have to fulfil their responsibilities by working on a line and promoting the games,” he said.
To a question, he said we send a form to our former players for grant and whoever sends it back, he or she receives it.
On the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) affairs, he said we have been strictly following the policy of neutrality and impartiality in the matter.
“We held meetings with all the stakeholders of the game and we are on a stage that the solution will soon be sought out after the elections,” he said.