KUWAIT: Kuwait’s government is attempting to sue the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland for more than $1bn in damages over the suspension of its Olympic committee.
Last October Kuwait was suspended not only by the IOC but by world football federation FIFA after being suspended by both over a new law which both deemed as controvening statutes barring government interference in sport.
The law was seen as a weapon in a domestic battle of which a target is Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, a powerful international sports powerbroker through his multiple roles as president of the Olympic Council of Asia, of the Association of National Olympic Committees and of fund-distributing Olympic Solidarity; he is also a member of the governing council of FIFA.
A statement from Information Minister Sheikh Salman al-Homoud Al Sabah to state-run Kuwait News Agency said: “It is totally unacceptable that Kuwait is treated in this unfair way and barred from international sports activities without any appropriate probe being conducted.
“From the very beginning Kuwait did its utmost to prevent the IOC suspension and showed a sincere desire to cooperate, but all to no avail. We sent a UN-sponsored delegation to Geneva to explain to the sports body that the Kuwaiti government by no means intervenes in sports activities.”
IOC negotiators have complained that on two occasions when they believed agreement had reached the terms were rejected by government ministers back in Kuwait.
He said the government had filed a lawsuit in Switzerland, where the IOC is headquartered, against the 14 members of its executive board. It was seeking $1.3bn in damages.
The IOC has said that any Kuwaiti athletes who achieve Games qualifying status can compete in Rio under the Olympic flag.
# # # # #