Scan­dal threat­ens FINA on eve of world cham­pi­onships

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

Bu­dapest, Hun­gary - Swim­ming's gov­ern­ing body FINA has been drawn into a com­mis­sion scan­dal days be­fore both their pres­i­den­tial elec­tions and the start of the swim­ming events at the world cham­pi­onships.

Kuwait's Hu­sain al Musal­lam, who is stand­ing un­op­posed as FINA's first vice-pres­i­dent, has been caught up in a con­tro­versy for ap­pear­ing to de­mand a ten per cent cut of po­ten­tial spon­sor­ship deals in a tape record­ing ob­tained by The Times and Ger­many's Spiegel On­line.

In his role as direc­tor-gen­eral of the Olympic Coun­cil of Asia (OCA), the 57 year old is heard ask­ing a busi­ness part­ner for 'com­mis­sions' on deals worth "40 to 50 mil­lion" dol­lars.

The ex­change is said to be be­tween a prospec­tive Chi­nese mar­ket­ing agent and Musal­lam, who sug­gested that ten per cent of any spon­sor­ship deals ar­ranged for the OCA should be sep­a­rately chan­nelled to him.

FINA has yet to com­ment on the scan­dal that comes ahead of its elec­tions in Bu­dapest on Sat­ur­day and Sun­day's start of swim­ming ac­tion at the world cham­pi­onships in Bu­dapest.

The In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC) told The Times and Der Spiegel that it had passed the al­le­ga­tions to its chief ethics in­ves­ti­ga­tor. It is not the first time this year that Musal­lam has courted con­tro­versy. In April, The Times re­vealed, he was ef­fec­tively iden­ti­fied in a US Depart­ment of Jus­tice in­dict­ment as a co-con­spir­a­tor who al­legedly paid bribes to a foot­ball of­fi­cial.

Musal­lam is the right-hand man of Olympic power­bro­ker and OCA pres­i­dent Sheikh Ah­mad al Fa­had al Sabah, who in April re­signed from his FIFA post af­ter be­ing iden­ti­fied as a co-con­spir­a­tor, along with Musal­lam, in the US in­dict­ment.

The record­ing ob­tained by The Times has emerged from the FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Musal­lam and Sheikh Ah­mad.

Hu­sain al Musal­lam

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