Kuwait fac­ing ex­clu­sion from 2019 Asian Cup

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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