SPORTS


Sheikh Ahmad: Kuwait Olympic body to be suspended

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Baku, October 27, AZERTAC

For the second time in five years, Kuwait is being suspended by the IOC for political interference, leaving its athletes in limbo for next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, according to bigstory.

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti who heads the global association of national Olympic committees and is a senior IOC member, told The Associated Press that the Gulf country will be sanctioned by the IOC on Tuesday.

The move comes after Kuwait failed to amend its disputed sports legislation by the Oct. 27 deadline set by the International Olympic Committee. FIFA suspended Kuwait's soccer association over the same issue two weeks ago.

"As a Kuwaiti I am very sad,'" Sheikh Ahmad said in an interview Monday night. "All of us are upset. It's a very sad story. It's (due to) human mistakes."

The IOC is concerned about government meddling in the running of Kuwait's Olympic committee and national sports federations. The IOC says the new sports law threatens the autonomy of the sports bodies and would mean Kuwait would no longer comply with the Olympic Charter.

The suspension comes with Sheikh Ahmad in Washington to chair this week's general assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees. He does not sit on the Kuwaiti body and was not directly involved in negotiations between the IOC and Kuwait on the issue.

The sheikh said Kuwait is one of the 206 national Olympic committees due to attend the ANOC meeting on Thursday and Friday. He said the Kuwaiti delegates will be allowed to stay but won't have any voting rights.

"I hope there will be an understanding very soon," Sheikh Ahmad said, warning that otherwise a "whole generation of athletes" will suffer.

If the suspension is not lifted before next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Kuwaiti athletes would be barred from representing their country at the games. The IOC would have to give them special dispensation to compete as individuals under the Olympic flag.

 

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