The Normalisation Committee (NC) of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) has decided to withdraw the national football team from the upcoming 19th Asian Games that are scheduled to be held in China.
The meeting, chaired by Pakistan Sports Board DG Shoaib Khoso, included the Secretary of the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), Mohammad Khalid Mehmood, who confirmed that the PFF NC had opted out of the Games.
“The PFF NC has not only failed to meet accreditation deadline, it has also communicated it had no plan to participate in the Asian Games owing to financial constraints. That means that the football game that had the largest 26 members contingent will not participate in the Games. The time to seek accreditation has already passed confirming that Pakistan will not be represented on the football field at the Asian Games,” Khalid said.
During the meeting, representatives from various federations, including hockey and martial arts, presented their cases for reasonable participation and financial support from the government.
‘The News’ has learnt that the hockey federation will be financially supported by the government considering the fact that the game is Pakistan flag carrier.
In all, the PSB is expected to support around 170 members. The strength could be increased with stress on financing those sports that have the ability to bring laurels to the country.
“We are at initial stages of gathering information and making adjustments where these are required. Once we gather all information from participating federations, we will be in a better position to see how best we can accommodate different federations,” Shoaib Khoso, when contacted, said.
“Majority of the participants were of the view that the government must keep those federations at the top which performed outstandingly in the last Asian Games. The medal-winning sports must be supported first, especially those which won laurels for the country in the last Asian Games,” an official said.
He said that federations having no record of winning medals at the Asian Games should not be preferred. “Though it was just an initial meeting, there is a need to support those athletes who are expected to win medals,” he added. Cricket, rugby and mind sports are expected to take care of their travelling and expenses.
The POA has proposed a 486-member contingent for the 19th Asian Games scheduled for Hangzhou (China) from September 23 to October 8.