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International Olympic Committee refuses Kuwait's request to lift sports ban
January 3, 2017, 12:54 pm

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has refused a request from Kuwait to temporarily lift the ongoing sports ban imposed on the county’s athletes.

Kuwait has been suspended from participating in international competitions following a ban imposed by the IOC in October 2015 over government interference in local sports; football’s governing body FIFA imposed a similar ban soon after.

The move came after Kuwait had introduced a new law giving the government the authority to take control over all sports bodies and national federations.

The country's athletes were able to compete in the Rio Olympics as an Independent Olympic Athletes (IOA), with Fehaid Al Deehani winning gold in the men’s double trap shooting.

Following the introduction of a new sports law in the country, Kuwait’s Public Authority for Sport (PAS) last month issued a plea for the IOC and FIFA to lift the ban temporarily, and invited both sporting authorities to send a delegation to the country to discuss the issue with the government and find a “consensus formula acceptable by all parties”.

However, in a letter to Kuwait’s Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, the IOC said that it "will not be in a position to reconsider the situation" until the country becomes fully compatible with the Olympic Charter, according to insidethegames website.

"The situation has significantly deteriorated over the past months due to a number of decisions taken in violation of the principles and rules of the Olympic Charter which has constrained the IOC to react accordingly and to reiterate its position," the IOC letter to Sheikh Salman said.

The IOC has said the government must reinstate the Kuwaiti Olympic Committee (KOC) and dissolve or dismiss any "parallel bodies/officers appointed by the Kuwaiti authorities that are not recognised by the IOC".

The IOC told insidethegames that Kuwait’s government has been fully aware what needs to be done in order for the situation to be re-considered.

Source: Arabian Business

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