KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait moved further into the international sporting wilderness after the government launched lawsuits against the national associations for swimming, volleyball, basketball and football writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
These are the national representatives of international federations which have expressed varying degrees of opposition to the Sports Ministry’s imposition of a new law deemed to enact direct political controls.
Last week the state sued 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.
The government is demanding $1.315bn in compensation for Kuwait’s exclusion from international sport.
Sheikh Talal is not only chairman of the embattled national Olympic committee but head of the sports federation; Sheikh Ahmad is president of both the Kuwait-based Olympic Council of Asia as well as of the Association of National Olympic Committees as well as being a member of the executive committee of world football federation FIFA.
The Kuwaiti government has also reportedly filed a lawsuit against the chairman and committee members of the Kuwaiti boxing and weightlifting organisations because they “impersonate the capacity of the chairman and executive members of the association without legal proof.”
This follows the government’s refusal to accept the validity of the sports’ general assembly.
The role of Sheikh Ahmad as an individual within both the IOC and FIFA has not been affected thus far by Kuwait’s general sporting suspensions but questions will be raised, inevitably, as times goes on and the situation deteriorates.
He is currently appealing against a prison sentence ordered after he was adjudged to have ‘insulting the judiciary’ while, simultaneously, he works behind the scenes in supporting the presidential candidacy of the Asian confederation leader Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain.