POA finalises contingent for South Korea: Pakistan hockey misses deadline for Incheon Asian Games

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LAHORE: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has missed the deadline (April 26) of participating in the Asian Games 2014 by not sending its entries to the International Olympic Committee (IOC)-backed Pakistan Olympic Association (POA). "Around 200 players and officials will represent Pakistan in 24 different disciplines of the Asian Games except hockey as they did not make any contact with us till the end of the deadline of April 26," POA president Lt Gen (r) Syed Arif Hasan told media after chairing a meeting that finalised the contingent here on Saturday. The Asian Games are scheduled to be held in Incheon, South Korea from September 19 to October 4. "Our doors for the Pakistan Hockey Federation are open, but still we want to receive the expression of interest from them," added the POA president.
 "Though the number of athletes and officials are 200, it may be reduced in case any federation changes its programme in future," he said. Besides hockey, no official from the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) attended the meeting. Arif, however, said the PTF, had already sent their list of players and officials for the accreditation.  He said there was a report that the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) had given the permission to the PHF to take part in the Asian Games. "The PHF should have sent the entries till April 26 as it will not be easy to entertain their request for participation after that date."  Arif said though the POA had to finish the task of sending the entries till April 30, it has set April 26 as deadline because some days were required to send the entries.
He admitted that the issue of parallel and unlawful POA should be resolved at the earliest as the sports were being damaged. He said his POA would take four steps forward to solve it in response to the government's single one, but keeping the principles above all. He said the Inter Provincial Ministry had also invited the legitimate National Olympic Committee (NOC) for consultation sometime next month, before presenting the Pakistan case of suspension before the IOC on May 21. It may be mentioned that if the Pakistan Government fails to present its case strongly, the IOC will suspend Pakistan membership in July this year.
Arif said the POA had also written a letter to the PSB to set up training camps for the Asian Games, but no reply was received as yet.  "In the last Asian Games in 2010 in China, the performance of Pakistan was improved after many years with three gold, two silver and three bronze medals. To maintain it, best kind of coaching and training facilities should be provided to the athletes." 
He said a contingent of 53 players and officials had also been finalised, which would feature in the Commonwealth Games 2014 to be held in Glasgow in July-August. It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan hockey will not be taking part in the Glasgow Games because the Inter Provincial Ministry refused to give the PHF permission to send entries through Arif Hasa-led POA. The POA has finalised the following games for participation  in the Incheon Asian Games: Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Baseball, Boxing, Cricket (Women), Cycling, Football, Gymnastics, Handball, Kabaddi, Karate, Rowing, Rugby, Shooting, Swimming, Squash, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Volleyball, Weightlifting, Wrestling and Wushu.

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