Kuwait con­demned for govern­ment takeover

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

THE In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC) on Au­gust 29 strongly con­demned the Kuwait au­thor­i­ties for us­ing police to seize the head­quar­ters of two key sports bod­ies as part of a mount­ing power strug­gle.

Police moved in ear­lier this week to take over the Kuwait Olympic Com­mit­tee and Kuwait Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion af­ter the govern­ment or­dered the leader of the two bod­ies to be re­placed.

The ac­tion height­ened a stand-off that has seen Kuwait sus­pended by the IOC and world foot­ball body FIFA since Oc­to­ber 2015 over laws that that have in­creased govern­ment con­trol over the Gulf state’s sport­ing bod­ies.

“The IOC strongly con­demns these ac­tions which, re­gret­tably, con­tinue to worsen the sit­u­a­tion in­stead of help­ing to find so­lu­tions,” said a let­ter sent by the IOC af­ter the police ac­tion.

A copy of the let­ter, sent to Kuwait’s Youth and In­for­ma­tion Min­is­ter Sheikh Sal­man Sabah al-Salem al-Ho­mud al-Sabah, was ob­tained by AFP.

“The IOC will hold the govern­ment au­thor­i­ties re­spon­si­ble for any loss or dam­age to the KOC prop­er­ties and as­sets, in par­tic­u­lar those de­rived from IOC/Olympic Move­ment fund­ing,” the let­ter said.

A govern­ment sports com­mis­sion headed by Sheikh Sal­man or­dered the re­place­ment of Sheikh Talal Fa­had alSabah as head of the KOC and KFA. Sheikh Talal has said that “threat and in­tim­i­da­tion” had been used against him.

The IOC let­ter said the Olympic move­ment would not recog­nise any of the “the so-called ‘in­terim com­mit­tee’ ap­pointed by govern­ment au­thor­i­ties in place of the duly elected of­fice-bear­ers”.

The Asian Foot­ball Con­fed­er­a­tion has also told its mem­bers not to co­op­er­ate with the new lead­er­ship of the KFA. Fawaz al-Has­sawi, who was named as new foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion chief, is the owner of English Cham­pi­onship side Not­ting­ham For­est.

The IOC said it was “still hop­ing that rea­son and com­mon sense will pre­vail” in the stand-off.

“The IOC calls on the high­est au­thor­i­ties of Kuwait to work con­struc­tively and re­spon­si­bly on a so­lu­tion ... in­stead of tak­ing ac­tions which have no ef­fect other than to make the sit­u­a­tion worse,” said the let­ter. –

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