PSB funding issues could affect preparations of athletes for Paris Olympics Qualifiers

A well-placed source in the PSB on Wednesday confirmed that there are no funds with the Board

November 09, 2023
Pakistan contingent for Asian Games 2023. - AFP

LAHORE: Scarcity of funds and inconsistent release to the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) is a major impediment which is damaging the country’s sports.

In a very tough financial situation, Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) held marathon camps for the athletes who recently featured in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou where the nation won just one silver and two bronze medals. Besides fielding national contingent in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Thailand early next year, preparing athletes for the Paris Olympics Qualifiers is a major challenge which the PSB will be facing in coming months.

A well-placed source in the PSB on Wednesday confirmed that there are no funds with the Board but said that the Board was determined to do its best for preparation of those athletes who will be playing in the Olympics Qualifiers.

“There is no doubt in it. We are facing funding issues and there is also inconsistency in release but it’s our priority to play our role in preparing those athletes who eye Olympics seats,” the source told ‘The News’.

“We will try our level best to fulfill their requirements,” the source was quick to add. “Things sometimes get delayed due to funding issues which is a matter of great concern. If you don’t hold camps how will you develop your athletes? Our entire fund is even less than the amount which a neighbouring state gives its one national federation. But still thanks God we have held sufficient camps for the 19th Asian Games. These camps were held after four years,” the source said.

“In the limited budget we are doing whatever we can. This time we have held camps and onward too we will make our top effort to hold camps and ensure activities are held without which we cannot promote our sports,” the source said. “Look, it’s a good prospect that we are hosting international events in Islamabad these days and it is a big positive and we will continue doing so in future as well,” the source said.

The source also confirmed that the PSB will be meeting with the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) either on November 13 or 14 to discuss the various matters relating to Pakistan’s participation in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Thailand.

“Our meeting with the POA was scheduled to be held on November 9 but it turned out to be a public holiday and now we are mulling options to meet either on November 13 or 14 to discuss the matters relating to our participation in Thailand’s event. Although it is not yet final effort will be made to send potential athletes to these Games,” the source said.

“We will discuss funds and camps requirements also and the actual position will become clear after we meet with the POA,” the source said. The source also revealed that the proposed dates for the meeting of the Pakistan’s government officials with the FIFA and AFC officials in Dubai are December 11-12.

“These are not yet finalised but hopefully the meeting with FIFA will be held in these dates,” the source said. “The IPC Secretary and PSB Director General will attend the meeting in which the electoral process of the PFF and its related issues will be discussed with the world body,” the source said.

It is pertinent to mention here that FIFA had proposed a meeting with the Pakistan government officials in September. However, due to certain engagements of various parties the meeting could not be held in those dates.

Alam Zeb Safi is a senior reporter for The News