POA shrugs off controversy regarding Pakistan’s flag-bearer at Rio Olympics

LAHORE: The Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) has contradicted the media reports that there was difference of opinion between them and the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) over the selection of shooter Ghulam Mustafa Bashir to lift Pakistan flag in the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics.


“It is being reported that there has been a last minute change in the flag-bearer of the Pakistan contingent and that there are difference of opinion in the selection between the PSB and POA. This release is being issued to put the record straight,” POA secretary Khalid Mahmood said in a press release issued from Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.

“There are absolutely no differences between the POA and the PSB. The final decision for the flag-bearer was taken just yesterday and the chef de mission Shaukat Javed issued a press release in this regard. No announcement regarding the same was made prior to this and it was a surprise to learn that different names were being floated.

“We once again reiterate that Ghulam Mustafa Bashir, a shooter, was the flag-bearer and that there were no two views between the POA and the PSB.

“We request that this unnecessary and contradictory news may please be clarified and the athletes, however, few they may be, are allowed to participate without any tensions so they could give their best,” the press release concluded.