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Kuwait police force entry to offices of National Olympic Committee and Football Association

Kuwait police force entry to offices of National Olympic Committee and Football Association
August 28, 2016
Legal / Sport /

Police in Kuwait have reportedly taken control of the offices of the country’s National Olympic Committee (KOC) and Football Association (KFA).

The move follows an announcement on Thursday (25th August) that both bodies had been "dissolved" by the Kuwaiti Government's Public Sports Authority (PSA).

The move followed the introduction of controversial sports laws, which granted the Government power to take over all sports bodies and National Federations, as well as being able to control decisions including appointments and financial matters.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) banned Kuwait when the laws were passed, due to their strict rules against any type of Government interference in sporting matters.

It meant Kuwaiti athletes had to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympics this month under the Olympic flag, with other sporting federations, including world football governing body FIFA, taking the same stance.

The PSA set up two special commissions to oversee both the KOC and KFA, according to state news agency KUNA.

Now, it appears that the headquarters of both buildings have been seized, with staff present said to have attempted a peaceful resistance.

The PSA's decision to dissolve the organisations was taken at a meeting chaired by Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Homud Al-Sabah.

Sheikh Fahd Jaber al-Ali will head the commission which will perform the role of the NOC, replacing the sacked Sheikh Talal Fahad al-Sabah.

Both commissions will be given a six-month mandate.

PSA Deputy General Director Hmoud Flaiteh told KUNA that the reason behind the decision was because both the NOC and Football Association refused to co-operate to address the supposed financial issues.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last month rejected a separate appeal launched by the Asian Shooting Confederation, the Kuwait Shooting Federation and three Kuwaiti competitors defending their right to compete at Rio 2016.

A Kuwaiti Government appeal against the IOC decision to suspend the country was also rejected by the civil Court of Canton de Vaud in Switzerland.

Kuwait’s Fehaid Al-Deehani, a former head of the KOC Athletes Commission, became the first-ever competitor representing the Independent Olympic Athletes (IOA) team to win a gold medal after claiming victory in the men's double trap during the Games.

Numerous meetings have taken place with the IOC since the suspension began last October, including one mediated by the United Nations, but all have failed to reach a resolution.

The KFA failed with a bid for reinstatement at FIFA's Congress in May, held in Mexico City, despite the launch of campaign led by a group of ex-professionals and other sporting officials who were attempting to get their ban from world football overturned.





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