LAHORE - Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) president Lt Gen (retd) Syed Arif Hasan has termed the formation of interim committee of the POA ‘illegal and unconstitutional’ and an attempt to draw the action of International Olympic Committee (IOC) for violating the Olympic charter.

Talking at a press conference here at the POA house on Tuesday, Arif said: “Some quarters are desperately working against the charter of the IOC and Olympic charter in Pakistan by coming up with time-to-time negative moves to disrupt the smooth working of the POA and to promote parallelism in sports federations. Now in a last ditch effort, they have attempted to create a parallel POA by announcing its interim committee to run its affairs which is an illegal act.” POA secretary M Khalid Mahmood and other officials of the body were also present on the occasion. The participants of the press conference also offered ‘fateha’ for departed souls of former POA secretary Abdul Khaliq Khan and Sindh Sports Minister Dr M Ali Shah.

The POA chief said at a time when clouds of uncertainty were already hovering on the national sports scene due to ongoing tussle between the POA and the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), the new move by a few sports federations had added nothing but draw the attention of the IOC to take action against Pakistan.

He alleged that most of the sports federations which attended the meeting were bogus or illegal and only three to four were genuine bodies duly affiliated with the POA. "Such lesser number of sports federations cannot decide the fate of the POA and future of sports in Pakistan and this action has further damaged the case of Pakistan at the forum of IOC,” he stated.

Arif said the POA general council meeting would be held here on February 12 and those who were associated with sports would see the real picture. "The POA delegation will be flying to Lausanne, Switzerland to attend a meeting summoned by the IOC on February 15 which will also be attended by representatives of the PSB. The meeting will decide IOC's future line of action against Pakistan in the prevailing circumstances,” he added.

The POA chief claimed that POA from its platform was endeavouring to safeguard the interest of sports in Pakistan and to protect the institution (POA) by adopting all constitutional measures and to fight its case for the cause of Olympic spirit in Pakistan.

"If the present situation goes on, it can bring adverse results as IOC can suspend Pakistan's membership in all international event, which will be very damaging for the cause of sports in Pakistan,” he added.

Arif said those who lost the POA elections a year ago were engaged in a negative campaign against the body by creating parallel sports bodies and by announcing time-to-time illegal and unconstitutional decisions to complicate the situation. "The POA is against of a ban or suspension against POA because it will serve no purpose but they are a fewer people among the ranks who are holding illegal meetings and taking unconstitutional decisions so that IOC may impose sanctions against Pakistan,” he said.