13th South Asian Games: POA looks to govt to decide final contingent

ISLAMABAD: The government is undecided on how many members of the national contingent to sponsor for the 13th South Asian Games in Kathmandu (Nepal) from December 1-10.The Pakistan Olympic Association, on the other hand, says that a shortened contingent would hurt medals’ chances in the regional event.A well-placed source in the Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination said meetings were still on to decide on all matters relating to the Games. “We have been holding meetings in the last three days regarding the ministry’s role for the SA Games. But we have yet to decide on how many members will be supported by the government,” an IPC official said.The POA plans to send a 424-member contingent to Kathmandu and believes any cut to that number would not help the country in its overall medals tally. “We have to go all out and compete in almost every discipline to increase our medals chances. All players with the support staff are training on their own for these Games. So it will be unjust to drop anyone at this point of time,” a POA official recently told ‘The News’.He said the IPC Ministry has already been told about it. “It is hoped that the government will support the entire contingent as it has been doing in the past.”The government, however, first set the figure at 100 and then increased it to 150. However, the ministry is engaged in meetings to look for a way out. “We are considering all aspects and are still in a meeting. How many members the government can financially support will be decided soon,” the IPC official said late Thursday.‘The News’ has learnt that the government could go on to support 200 members at the most and leave the rest to the POA or the respective federations to decide.

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