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Sports

Kuwait's Olympic Association host wants an end to government feud

Sheikh Talal has questioned whether Kuwait's athletes will be able to compete in Brazil following concerns over how much the government has meddled in the country's sporting affairs.

Kuwait's Olympic future is hanging on a knife edge following a 'serious escalation' in government interference that could see the country's athletes banned from competing.

The national Olympic association has been embroiled in scandal since the Kuwaiti government filed a 1.2 billion euro ($1.3 billion) law suit, which accused 14 important figures of 'corrupting the Olympic movement and meddling in sporting affairs.'

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, the influential head of the Association, was named in a plot aimed at overthrowing the government. He has received a six-month sentence in the last six months, but despite being a member of the Royal Family, he's one of the main targets of the investigation. Sheikh Ahmad also serves on FIFA's Executive Committee.

"This is a serious escalation of a regrettable sequence of events," Sheikh Talal said. "After years of hard work our athletes are facing the prospect of not being able to compete at Rio 2016 under the national flag."

Kuwait's government also filed law suits on Tuesday against the national federation of boxing, swimming, volleyball, weightlifting, basketball and football. The country was suspended in October by the IOC for the second time in five years due to government interference.

Thomas Bach, head of the International Olympic Committee, has left the door open for further discussions, but insists the Kuwait Olympic Association must follow the IOC's own rules.

"We will insist on our worry that the sports law is in compliance," Bach told reporters. "I think this is also in the interest of the Kuwait authorities and the Kuwaiti athletes to ensure this compliance and not forcing their other federations to escalate the issue. They have to come to the table."