Lahore is set to play a key role in the hosting of the 2023 South Asian Games ©Getty Images

Several Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) officials have been appointed to a working group in charge of organising the next South Asian Games.

Punjab is due to host the 14th edition of the Games in 2023 - spearheaded by Lahore - after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan gave the event the green light.

POA President Syed Arif Hasan and Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti, Punjab's Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, met to form the working group.

POA secretary general Muhammad Khalid Mahmood, treasurer Muhammad Shafiq, deputy secretary general Muhammad Jahangir and associate secretary general Ahmer Mallick have all been appointed to the nine-person panel.

The working group has been tasked with collating data on sports infrastructure already in place in Lahore, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Gujranwala - the four cities poised to stage the Games in 2023 - and identifying what upgrades are needed.

Nepal hosted the 2019 South Asian Games ©Getty Images
Nepal hosted the 2019 South Asian Games ©Getty Images

It has also been asked to identify what equipment will need to be imported to bring venues up to international standards and liaise with national governing bodies.

Estimating the cost of venue and infrastructure upgrades, as well as building new facilities if necessary, also comes under the working group's purview.

The 2023 South Asian Games had originally been expected to take place this year, but the coronavirus pandemic has delayed those plans.

Pakistan has hosted the event twice before - in Islamabad in 2004 and 1989.

Nepalese cities Kathmandu and Pokhara staged the last South Asian Games in 2019.