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Three officials of govt-backed POA suspended by OCA

Press Trust of India  |  Karachi 

Three officials of the government backed Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) have been suspended by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) for their involvement in destabilizing the Olympic movement in Pakistan.

An official of the government backed POA confirmed that the President of the OCA had informed in writing that President Akram Sahi and officials, Zafar Abbas and Ghulam Ali had been suspended from taking part in any activity under the jurisdiction of the OCA.

"OCA President Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah in his letter addressed to Sahi, Zafar Abbas and Ghulam Ali read that the formation of a parallel National Olympic Committee had destabilized the Olympic movement in Pakistan.

"He has said that Akram Sahi and two other officials were running a parallel Olympic movement in Pakistan which has become a threat for Pakistan," the official told PTI.

But an undetered Sahi claimed that he was not worried about the suspension.

"The OCA suspension doesn't worry us because one can only suspend someone when there is an affiliation with that organisation," he said.

The Olympic movement and related sports have been hit hard in recent months in Pakistan after Sahi formed the parallel Pakistan Olympic Association in the presence of the POA headed by Arif Hasan which is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

The IOC in a letter sent to the POA had expressed its concern over the formation of a parallel body in Pakistan and also the fact that this body led by Sahi had seized control of the Olympic house in Lahore and also the accounts of the POA.

The IOC noted that all funds in the POA accounts were sent by the IOC.

Although the IOC stopped short of suspending the membership of the POA but Arif Hasan has warned this decision could be come anytime now if the Sahi led POA continued to undermine its authority in the country.

Hasan has said that Pakistan is also heading down the same road as India whose Olympic membership has also been suspended due to infighting and formation of parallel bodies.

First Published: Wed, September 11 2013. 10:20 IST