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Kuwait sues IOC for $1 billion over Olympic ban

Kuwait sues IOC for $1 billion over Olympic ban
July 3, 2016

The Government of Kuwait has filed a lawsuit against the the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for more than US$1 billion in damages following the Olympic body’s banning of the country from international sporting competitions.

After years of concern over the Kuwaiti Governments interference in its national Olympic Committee, the IOC suspended the Arabian Gulf nation's Olympic committee in October last year. The ban is unlikely to be lifted before the Rio Olympic Games, which start on 5th August, with Kuwaiti athletes likely to only be able to compete under the Olympic flag.

In response, Kuwait’s state news agency KUNA reported Kuwaiti Information Minister Sheikh Salman al-Homoud Al Sabah as stating “it is totally unacceptable that Kuwait is treated in this unfair way and barred from international sports activities without any appropriate probe being conducted.

"From the very beginning Kuwait did its utmost to prevent the IOC suspension and showed a sincere desire to cooperate, 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."

The Minister said the Government had filed a lawsuit in a Swiss court against 14 board members of the IOC and is seeking US$1 billion in damages.

The IOC had given the Kuwait until 27th October 2015 to change legislation it said challenged the independence of the country's Olympic committee and sports associations but Kuwait took no action.

Kuwait was suspended in 2010 over a similar dispute but reinstated before the 2012 London Olympics.

World football governing body FIFA has also suspended the Kuwait FA, also over government interference in its running.

27th October 2015 - KUWAIT GETS IOC BAN FOR GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE

9th September 2015 - SUMMIT TO PRESENT NEW SPORT INFRASTRUCTURE OPPORTUNITIES IN THE ARABIAN GULF

16th April 2015 - INDONESIA OLYMPIC COMMITTEE TO AVOID IOC BAN

21st September 2014 - IOC PRESIDENT’S CALL FOR TRANSPARENCY CHALLENGES ASIAN POLITICAL DOMINANCE OF SPORT

19th December 2012 - KUWAIT AMENDS SPORTS LAW AFTER IOC BAN THREAT

16th April 2012 - KUWAIT’S SHEIKH AHMAD ASSUMES ANOC PRESIDENCY


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