MOSCOW: Kuwait is likely to ramp up its political war on all the rest of world sport after yet another snub – this time, significantly, from the International Shooting Sport Federation writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
It was the failure of Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah to win the presidency in an election contest with Olegario Vazquez Rana in December 2014 which sparked the dispute which has seen the Gulf state suspended from membership of both the Olympic movement and world football federation FIFA.
Sheikh Salman blamed his defeat on the Olympic insider influence of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, a fellow member of the ruling Kuwaiti royal family but who is also president of the Olympic Council of Asia, the Association of National Olympic Committees and Olympic Solidarity. In addition, Sheikh Ahmad is member of the FIFA governing council.
In the wake of the original ISSF fall-out, Sheikh Salman promoted a new law which was deemed by both IOC and FIFA as contravening statutes barring the direct interference of governments in sports association management.
Kuwait was then suspended by both bodies last November.
Two sets of negotiations between the IOC and the Kuwait Sports Ministry came to nothing and two weeks ago Kuwait’s government announced an intention to sue the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland for more than $1bn in damages over the suspension of its Olympic committee.
The exiling of Kuwait from international sport took a further turn at the ISSF General Assembly in Moscow which confirmed an earlier provisional suspension of Kuwait. Delegates voted 174-65 for the suspension which prompted the resignation of Kuwait’s Duaij Khalaf Al-Otaibi from the body’s administrative council.
In further political confusion, a proposed new ISSF constitution did not receive the required two-thirds majority. It was approved by ‘only’ 148 votes to 84, seven short of the enactment tally.
The IOC has said that any Kuwaiti athletes who achieve Games qualifying status can compete in Rio under the Olympic flag.
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