KUWAIT CITY: The bitter dispute between the Kuwaiti government and its the state’s sports authorities has been stepped up again by a police raid on the football association offices writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

This followed a defiant statement by Sheikh Talal Al-Fahad, president of Kuwait Olympic Committee, blamed Kuwait’s descent into pariah status among the international sports community squarely on the shoulders of Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud (Minister of Information and Youth Affairs and head of the Public Authority for Sport) as well as vice-president Sulaiman Al-Adsani.

Kuwait has been banished from membership and international competition by both the International Olympic Committee and world football federation FIFA. Hence it is unable to compete at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro where one of its shooters, Fehaid Al-Deehani, won a gold medal on Wednesday while competing under the neutral flag of the IOC.

The raid on the KFA headquarters came a week after the country lost a Swiss court case against the IOC.

A KFA statement said: “Police and other government authorities visited the Kuwait FA headquarters. Kuwait Olympic Committee headquarters is their next destination.”

An interior ministry spokesman denied the police had raided the offices, insistng a photograph of police officers at the door concerned only “infringements on state property.”

The background to the row which saw the formulation of a sports law which imposes government interference in defiance of international sports statutes is long and complex [ http://keirradnedge.com/2016/07/02/more-kuwait-trouble/ ].

A central figure is Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah an Olympics powerbroker who heads up both the Association of National Olympic Committees and the Olympic Council of Asia as well as being a member of the FIFA governing council.

Sheikh Ahmad is able to maintain his duties within the IOC and FIFA as an individual despite the suspensions of his country from both bodies.