Kuwait facing exclusion from 2019 Asian Cup
Kuwait will be removed from the 2019 Asian Cup if it is still suspended by FIFA on Dec 18. The Asian Football Confederation set the deadline yesterday, giving Kuwait three weeks to resolve a governmentimposed law affecting the independence of national sports bodies. FIFA suspended the Kuwait Football Association in Oct 2015 when the national team was midway through a 2018 World Cup qualifying group. Despite Kuwait forfeiting three matches, it still finished third in a five-team group and advanced to an Asian Cup qualifying group stage.
The AFC wants clarity one month before making the 24team draw in January. The 2019 Asian Cup will be in the United Arab Emirates. Kuwait’s national Olympic committee has also been suspended by the IOC since last year for breaching rules that prohibit government interference. Kuwait athletes competed at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic under the Olympic flag and not as a national team.
On Thursday, authorities dissolved the boards of the gymnastics and squash federations, citing “administrative and financial irregularities”. The sports authority issued a decree dissolving the boards of the two federations, as well as that of the hunting and equestrian club, which stands as a federation by itself. The Public Authority for Sports appointed temporary committees to run the federations. The move follows earlier controversial decisions to dissolve the federations of basketball, swimming and judo. Authorities sent in police in August to take over Kuwait’s Olympic Committee and the Kuwait Football Association.