KUWAIT CITY: The desert storm raging between the Kuwaiti government and world sport has escalated with the Olympic movement now being directly targeted writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
According to media reports in Kuwait, the government is suing prominent IOC member Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah and all the Kuwait’s national Olympic committee members, including his brother the chairman, Sheikh Talal Al-Fahad, over the state’s international suspension.
Kuwait has been barred from international Olympic and football activities by both the IOC and world soccer federation FIFA over a new sports law which both bodies have attacked as imposing political interference.
Now the government is reportedly demanding $16,500 as a down-payment from both sheikhs towards $1.315bn compensation.
The law was created and approved after a row in the International Shooting Sport Association following a presidential election in which Mexico’s Olegario Vázquez Raña defeated a challenge from Kuwait’s Sheikh Salman Al-Sabah.
Kuwait responded by not only approving the sports law but by targeting the Olympic Council of Asia whose headquarters are in the state.
Sheikh Ahmad is president of both the OCA as well as of the Association of National Olympic Committees and of Olympic Solidarity.
As a member also of the executive committee of FIFA he is expected to play a significant role behind the scenes in supporting the presidential candidacy of the Asian confederation leader Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain.
He is also currently appealing against a prison sentence ordered after he was adjudged to have ‘insulting the judiciary.’
His role as an individual within both the IOC and FIFA has not been affected by Kuwait’s general sporting suspensions.
# # # #