KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait can move towards a rapprochement with the international sports community after confirmation that controversial Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al-Hunmoud Al-Sabah has resigned as Minister of Information and Youth Affairs writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Sheikh Salman had faced a proposal of no confidence in the National Assembly this week over his disastrous mishandling of the state’s sports organisations. The debate and vote will not now go ahead.
The Sheikh’s failure to win the presidency of the International Shooting Sport Federation two years promoted a personal dispute with Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, the senior Olympic powerbroker who is also a member of the governinig council of world football federation FIFA.
His resignation will be seen as an important domestic victory for Sheikh Ahmad.
The row over the ISSF vote had boiled over into an attempt by Sheikh Salman to enforce a new sports law through which he seized control of the national Olympic committee and the Kuwaiti Football Association and sought punitive damages against senior officials and the IOC.
Kuwait was subsequently suspended from the IOC and FIFA, meaning it was absent from the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Mediation attempts brokered by the IOC and the United Nations failed as the Olympic and world football federations insisted on restoration of the original national sports bodies.
Last week a debate among MPs ended in the no-confidence motion against Sheikh Salman born of a complaint of a waste of public funds, financial and administrative breaches at the Ministry of Information and the National Council for Culture Arts and Letters as well as charges restricting media freedom.
Now that Sheikh Salman has quit it is expected that the government will move quickly to seek to reintegrate Kuwait within world sport.