Kuwaiti FINA of­fi­cial re­elected af­ter scan­dal de­nial

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

BU­DAPEST: Julio Maglione has been re-elected for a third term as pres­i­dent of swim­ming’s gov­ern­ing body FINA, while Hu­sain al-Musal­lam was con­firmed for an­other term as its se­nior vice pres­i­dent de­spite al­le­ga­tions of bribery against him. The 81-year-old Maglione, of Uruguay, de­feated the pres­i­dent of Euro­pean aquat­ics fed­er­a­tion LEN, Paolo Barelli, af­ter FINA changed its rules to re­move its age limit. It was an ex­pected vic­tory for Maglione at FINA’s elec­tion congress on the side­lines of the world cham­pi­onships in Bu­dapest, Hun­gary.

Barelli com­plained that he wasn’t al­lowed to speak to the bu­reau be­fore the vote. He said that es­sen­tially ended any hopes he had of per­suad­ing the gov­ern­ing body to make a change at the top. “There is a lack of good gov­er­nance. We need trans­parency,” Barelli told The Associated Press in an in­ter­view be­fore the vote was even com­pleted. “Where it needed to be shown is dur­ing the congress. It is not easy for any­body to un­der­stand why the can­di­date can­not speak. This is un­be­liev­able.”

Maglione has been in charge since 2009. Al-Musal­lam ran un­op­posed af­ter FINA cleared the Kuwaiti of­fi­cial on Wed­nes­day for re-elec­tion de­spite fresh al­le­ga­tions made by Bri­tish daily The Times and Ger­man mag­a­zine Der Spiegel that he had sought pay­offs from spon­sor­ship deals through the Olympic Coun­cil of Asia (OCA) in 2012.

Al-Musal­lam is next in line to take over the top po­si­tion should Maglione be un­able to ful­fill his du­ties. FINA said “there was no breach of any FINA reg­u­la­tions” af­ter Wed­nes­day’s al­le­ga­tions were made, much to Barelli’s frus­tra­tion.

“You can­not per­mit the in­fec­tion to en­ter in­side the or­ga­ni­za­tion,” the Ital­ian said. “FINA doesn’t have any (mech­a­nism) to pro­tect them­selves from the pos­si­bil­ity that some­thing re­ally hap­pened.”—AP

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