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Pakistan Set to Lose Hosting Rights for South Asian Games

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Pakistan is facing serious repercussions of losing the hosting rights of 14th South Asian Games, as Sri Lanka’s Minister of Sports Harin Fernando told his Olympic Committee to look into the possibility of hosting the mega event.

According to sources, Director General (DG), Department of Sports Development in Sri Lanka, Dr. Shemal Fernando has instructed participating federations to get ready to host the 14th edition of the Games.

Four years prior, Pakistan was allotted the hosting rights for the games, and the country announced that it would hold the event in March 2024, but there are no signs of preparation for the event.

The Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination’s (IPC) Organizing Committee has yet to finalize any plans in coordination with the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) as to where and how the mega event will be held.

The Pakistani government had approved Rs4 billion for the event with tenders already floated during the previous government when Dr Fahmida Mirza was heading the Ministry of IPC.

In a recent letter written to the POA, the IPC Ministry looked keen on getting an update on the status of the Games with the National Olympic Committee in response clarifying its position that it is actually the Ministry that formed the Organizing Committee.

The letter written to the Ministry by the POA states that it was the government that constituted the organizing committee without even consulting the POA.

The POA maintained that there are serious threats to Pakistan’s hosting rights due to the unnecessary delay by the government-formed Organizing Committee, which had to plan the event.

In such confusion, the last comments were, “It is quite surprising that after the four years of allocation of the South Asian Games to Pakistan and various communications addressing your query on ‘responsible authority for conduct of the South Asian Games’ we are still in a confused state of mind.”

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