LAHORE: The Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) on Tuesday clarified that the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) sent invitation for the 23rd Board meeting to National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Pakistan President Lt Gen (r) Syed Arif Hasan ‘too late’ and for this very reason Arif Hasan was not able to attend the meeting. The Pakistan Sports Board has alleged that the officials of the Pakistan Olympic Association were invited but didn’t turn up to the 23rd meeting of its Board. In a letter addressed to Col (r) Muhammad Asif Zaman, Director General/Secretary Pakistan Sports Board, POA President Arif Hasan said: “I have just received an email forwarded by my office which was dispatched by the PSB at 06:04 P.M. on Sunday 29 August 2021 with a request to attend a Board Meeting on Monday 30th August 2021. Sunday being a holiday the offices were closed and therefore the email was forwarded Monday morning. Strangely the original notice of the meeting of the Board was issued sometime back to the rest of the members of the Board but for some reason it was not deemed appropriate to invite/inform the President POA, who is very much a member of the Board, to attend this meeting. That the invitation was sent just a few hours before the meeting therefore seems to be an afterthought or a late realization that a member of the Board should be invited to attend.” Arif Hasan, who is in USA, further added: “You will realise that in any eventuality it would be well-nigh impossible to attend any meeting at such a short notice. You will also realise that I am in USA with a time difference of 12 hours. It would have been appropriate if this notice of the meeting could have been sent to me along with the rest of the Board members and to arrange my attendance virtually. Much that I would have liked to, but due to this very late information, it is impossible for me to attend this meeting.” Arif Hasan also said that for the sake of propriety and fairness, it was requested that the points related to the POA may be deferred till the next meeting.” Earlier this month, the government demanded POA Chief Arif Hasan to resign from the post he has held onto since 2004. That demand came at a news conference held by Special Assistant to Prime Minister Shahbaz Gill and Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination Fehmida Mirza after conclusion of the Tokyo Olympics. The POA hit back, claiming it was performing the role assigned by its constitution. In the 23rd meeting, the PSB said that instead of sending relevant coaches, officials were sent on joyrides to Tokyo. “The relevant coaches were not sent as they were not given accreditation. Admin officials were sent to Tokyo for joyrides,” said a press release, issued by the PSB, after the meeting. It added that the POA had also failed to control the athletes once they were in Tokyo and racist comments were made by one athlete. “Behavior of all members and athletes was the responsibility of the POA,” the press release said. “Untrained athletes were sent. Covid-19 SOPs were not followed which defamed Pakistan`s name. All this showed the failure of the Olympic Committee.” The PSB press release added: “It was decided in the meeting that no one would be allowed to do anything in future that would defame the country or bring disgrace to the government. All the participants agreed that a National Sports Policy should be implemented in the country which would regulates all sports institutions/entities.” The press release stated that all Board members expressed regret over the POA President not attending the meeting, to which Arif hit back, complaining that the late invitation deprived him the chance of joining them.