Kuwait launch $1 billion lawsuit against IOC

first_imgThe Kuwait Olympic Committee (KOC) were suspended by the IOC in October for “undue Government interference” only three years after the lifting of a similar suspension shortly before London 2012.Sheikh Salman claims, however, that the ban was unfairly put in place and that an “appropriate probe had not been conducted”.The development marks the latest in the ongoing saga which has seen Kuwait athletes banned from competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games under their own flag.They are seeking to reclaim damages from the IOC following their “outlaw” from the international sports scene as their football federation is also suspended by FIFA and 15 other International Federations (IF).”It’s totally unacceptable that Kuwait is treated in this unfair way and barred from international sports activities without any appropriate probe being conducted,” the Information Minister told the Kuna, the official news agency of the Kuwaiti Government.”From the very beginning Kuwait did it its utmost to prevent the IOC suspension and showed a sincere desire to co-operate, 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.”However, we were put in an embarrassing situation in the eyes of the international sports circles and looked as if we were outlaws.”Kuwaiti athletes’ hopes of representing their nation at Rio 2016 all-but ended last week when the rights of all sporting officials and athletes to take independent opinions and actions were curtailed following the passing of controversial new Statutes by the National Assembly.Under the new measures, the Public Sports Authority (PSA) gain the power to dissolve all sporting bodies including the KOC, as well as assuming control over all appointments and financial matters.Those who refuse to comply could face jail terms of between one and three years.The new Statutes, which have been described as threatening to human rights, were proposed by PSA head Sheikh Salman and were approved by 40 of the 46 members of the National Assembly.It effectively dismissed any chance of Kuwait’s suspension from the IOC being lifted before Rio 2016, with the Opening Ceremony scheduled for August 5.Sheikh Salman came under fierce criticism from opponents of the Statute amendments, with some claiming the nature of the proposals was “unconstitutional”.”There is only positive interference in the form of support and backing for the sports bodies meant to promote the Olympic movement,” added Sheikh Salman.”Looking ahead, we stress the need for a common stance and cooperation involving all concerned parties without excluding anybody. All of us have to put the higher interests of Kuwait above all other considerations, spare no effort to promote sports and bring back the youth to the international sports events.”The news will also prolong Kuwait’s period in the sporting wilderness as the Government still have the power to dissolve the country’s sports federations, including the KOC.This is all seemingly connected to a personal feud between Sheikh Salman and his cousin Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti IOC member who is also President of both the OCA and the Lausanne-based Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC).”This case is now in the hands of the court and we look forward to the outcome with confidence,” an IOC spokesperson told insidethegames.insidethegames has contacted ANOC for comment.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *