by Alam Zeb Safi
KARACHI: A senior official of Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) on Monday said that the country is likely to feature in 28 or 29 disciplines in the Asian Games which will be hosted by Indonesia in Jakarta and Palembang from August 18 to September 2, 2018.
“We are likely to feature in 28 or 29 disciplines but we will have to meet the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) how much it could support,” POA secretary Khalid Mehmood told ‘The News’.
“We will also take input of the federations,” he added. He was quick to add that the POA would try to hold a meeting with the PSB and federations by January 10 so that the matter could be discussed in details.
Khalid, who returned from Indonesia the other day after attending Chefs de Mission seminar, added that it was important that players prepared properly for the Asiad.“It will be important for those federations whose squads are not featuring in the Commonwealth Games to begin preparation for the Asian Games in time,” said Khalid, who is also the president of Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF).There will be 10,000 athletes from the Olympic Council of Asia’s (OCA) 45 National Olympic Committees competing in 40 sports, 67 disciplines and 462 events, plus e-sports as a demonstration event.
There will be 62 venues in four venue clusters, including Jakabaring Sports City at Palembang, the organisers said.This will be the second time that Indonesia will host the OCA’s showpiece.Unlike in the past when Pakistan would return with a number of medals the country claimed only one gold medal, one silver and three bronze in the last Asian Games hosted by South Korea in Incheon in 2014.
Pakistan’s women cricket team had claimed gold in Incheon, while men’s hockey team clinched silver. Bronze medals were won in men’s kabaddi, boxing (Mohammad Waseem) and wushu (Maratab Ali Shah).
About the preparations for the Commonwealth Games, Khalid said camps of some of the disciplines had been started. “Some of the camps have already been started; some will begin from December 25,” Khalid said.
Pakistan will feature in ten disciplines in the Commonwealth Games pencilled in for April 4-15 in Gold Coast, Australia.The disciplines are hockey, athletics, badminton, boxing, swimming, shooting, squash, table tennis, wrestling and weightlifting.
About Pakistan’s football issue, Khalid said that the POA would take an initiative after the court’s verdict. “The matter is in the court. We have not yet written any letter to FIFA. We will take a step after the court’s decision. It was agreed in the POA general council that the NOC should play a role but we will see what we can do once the court decides the matter,” Khalid said.
The world football governing body (FIFA) suspended Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) in October because of third party interference. FIFA made it clear that the suspension would remain unless PFF headquarters and accounts were handed over to the federation led by Faisal Saleh Hayat. The next hearing of the case has been fixed for January 9.