Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for a meeting with the Sports activities minister Dr. Fehmida Mirza to take a look at the shortcomings that led to the poor performance of the athletes in the Tokyo Olympics.
“The PM will now pay attention to the sports structure in the country in the remaining two years of the government as he wants the youth to excel in other sports as well as in cricket and present a soft image of the country,” Federal Minister Asad Umar told ARY news.
Asad Umar also admitted that the government has been unable to emphasize on the importance of sports other than cricket, but now Prime Minister Imran Khan, whose claim to fame is the 1992 Cricket World Cup victory, acknowledged the unsatisfactory state of affairs and stated that since he had a keen interest in sports, he would use his insights and experience to bring the standard up.
Asad Umar has also revealed that the government is planning to construct a modern-day sports activities institute within the nation.
Fehmida Mirza has blamed the Nationwide Olympic Committee (NOC) for the overall poor track record of athletics in Pakistan.
However, when asked why the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) returned almost 440 million rupees to the federal government within the fiscal 12 years without using them for sports activities and athletes, she had no convincing reply.
“We have asked all national federations to give a proper action plan for their sports only after which they will get grants and funds for training their athletes and sending them abroad or holding events.” She said
Even though Javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem and weightlifter Talha Talib tried their best to win it big, no one could clinch the medal this time for Pakistan. In fact, Pakistan has not won a medal in the Olympics for the last 30 years.
The ultimate reaction of the people was to demand the resignation of the President of the National Olympic Committee Mr. Arif Hasan.
— Asad Siddique ツ (@ACurlyHairGuy) August 8, 2021
The Punjab government on Tuesday announced cash rewards of Rs1 million for javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem, weightlifter Talha Talib and mountaineer Shehroz Kashif for their recent stellar performances at the global level.
The Retd Lt. General Syed Arif Hasan is the president of National Olympics Committee since 2004, and Pakistan hasn't won a single medal from last 17 years. Not a single medal.
How can we win anything when people like him are sitting on the upper posts? pic.twitter.com/ak8sU5ceHE
— Sameer Siddiqui (@SenatorSameer) August 7, 2021
The provincial government and the Pakistan Olympic Association has promised to facilitate not only Arshad Nadeem and Talha Talib but also other athletes, yet peoples still believe this is not enough to ensure better performance in the future.
Pakistan has not been performing well in any sports other than cricket for the last couple of years. Hockey has declined to such an extent that the team failed to qualify for the last two Olympics although it is the national sport of Pakistan.
Similarly, no one has really stood apart in squash, tennis, or badminton. Even though the circumstances have been very poor, Arshad Nadeem and Talha Talib have still shown that they are motivated to perform. And if they can go so far in the Olympics without the help or support from their board, they can surely win medals and perform exceptionally if directed in the right direction.
Pakistan has found new heroes in the shape of Arshad Nadeem and Talha Talib. They have inspired the young generation to look for other talents in themselves other than cricket and with this mindset, more and more athletes are likely to emerge that will surely make the nation proud in the coming years.
With the special focus of PM Imran Khan on the matter, there is a new ray of hope for these hard working athletes to finally get their problems heard so that a better environment can be created for them to make their journey easier.