The POA will finalize the CWG questions at tomorrow’s meeting

KARACHI: The Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) will hold a crucial meeting with the national federations on Tuesday (tomorrow) to finalize various matters relating to the Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8.

The meeting will also be attended by the Managing Director of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), Colonel (Retired) Mohammad Asif Zaman. The meeting will start at 4:00 p.m. at the POA office in Lahore. POA Secretary Khalid Mehmood and PSB DG will lead the meeting.

Khalid told ‘The News’ on Sunday that at the meeting the final strength will be confirmed by the federations, POA and PSB.

In the quadrennial spectacle, Pakistan will feature in 14 disciplines, including two para-sports disciplines. The disciplines are: weightlifting, wrestling, boxing, athletics, badminton, judo, squash, swimming, hockey, cricket (women), table tennis, gymnastics, para- table tennis and para-athletics.

“The other thing is that the federations will give us the final names so that the travel plan and related arrangements can be made accordingly,” Khalid said.

POA Chairman Lt. Gen. (Retired) Syed Arif Hasan will not attend the meeting as he is in the United States these days.

“There are also some minor accreditation issues and the Commonwealth Games Federation has also shown some reservations. For example, some athletes’ names on their passports are different from those registered with the International Federations (IFs) and similar there are differences in dates of birth,” Khalid pointed out.

“We will also ask the federations when they will send their teams to Birmingham as some federations have international commitments. In hockey and cricket there are commitments, so we will want to clarify things,” he said.

Khalid said federations can make substitutions within their accredited pools until May 25.

It is pertinent to mention here that some federations are planning to hold final trials to finalize their squads for the Commonwealth Games in the coming days and a few weeks delay will make it easier for them to finalize their squads.

The POA has already finalized a contingent of 103 members, excluding contingent officials, for the Commonwealth Games. However, the PSB plans to only support athletes who have medal prospects. The final position of the Board of Directors will also become clear during this meeting.

Khalid said they would work this out with the board. “I don’t know how much budget the PSB has allocated for the Commonwealth Games. Yes, we have already informed all the federations and if there is a problem, this vacuum will be filled,” said Khalid.

In accordance with the rules, the organizers of the Commonwealth Games provide room and board free of charge to all participants and the competing nations will only have to bear the cost of air transport for their contingents.

Khalid said that once the squad roster is finalized, the POA will also hold an anti-doping seminar. He said that individually all doping tests for athletes bound for Birmingham will be carried out before the contingent departs.

At the Islamic Games, Pakistan will compete in 17 disciplines, including three Paralympic sports.

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