LAHORE: The Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) which recently held meetings with three sports federations of the country in order to resolve the issue of parallel bodies, has found the task very demanding.

POA secretary Khalid Mahmood while talking to Dawn on Friday, said different mediation committees were formed for athletics, cycling and judo aimed at exploring the ways to end the parallel bodies of these disciplines at all levels so that the affairs of their federations can be run smoothly.

According to Khalid, separate meetings with the country’s athletics, cycling and judo federations were held on July 23, 24 and 25.

“While there were some positive developments in the affairs concerning judo, a lot of work has to be done by the athletics and cycling federations to end their parallel bodies at provincial levels,” the POA secretary stated.

Khalid, who featured in all the three meetings, said from the Pakistan Athletics Federation (AFP) secretary Mohammad Zafar attended the meeting.

“All the four provincial bodies of the AFP are not affiliated with their respective provincial Olympic associations. Therefore, it has been decided that the federation needs to sit with the provincial Olympic bodies to solve the matter at their own end,” Khalid said.

Similarly, Khalid said, the same situation was prevailing in the cycling federation, where parallel-bodies issues existed at provincial as well as national level.

He said the Pakistan Cycling Federation, which was affiliated with the international cycling body, had its own affiliated bodies in the four provinces, which had not affiliation with the respective provincial Olympic bodies. “While Azhar Shah has been running one of the groups at the national level, former president Khawaja Idrees claims his own group,” said Khalid.

As regards judo, the POA secretary said, the problems were with Punjab and Sindh chapters, where the provincial bodies of the national judo federation were not affiliated with the respective POA-affiliated provincial Olympic bodies.

However, the matter in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had been resolved through mediation, while there was no case of any parallel body existing in Balochistan.

Khalid said the POA would only recognise those national sports federations which would have at least three provincial bodies, duly affiliated with their respective Olympic associations.

Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2019