Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud Al-Sabah has made clear that Kuwait intends to take the Swiss-based International Olympic Committee (IOC) to court in Switzerland for its unjustified decision to suspend Kuwait Olympic Committee (KOC) and to sue the international organization for damages amounting to US$1 billion.
Speaking recently on the sidelines of a dinner banquet held by the Public Authority for Sports Affairs, Sheikh Salman said, “It's totally unacceptable that Kuwait is treated with this unfair way and is barred from international sports activities without conducting an appropriate probe." The minister was referring to the October 2015 decision by the Executive Board (EB) of the IOC to suspend KOC in order to “protect the Olympic Movement in Kuwait from undue government interference”.
Sheikh Salman added, "From the very beginning, Kuwait did its utmost to prevent the OIC Executive Board decision and showed a sincere desire to cooperate, but all to no avail. We sent a delegation to Geneva to explain to the world sports body that the Kuwaiti government intervenes by no means in the sports activities. However, we were put in an embarrassing situation in the eyes of the international sports circles and looked as if we were outlaws."
Regarding the stances of KOC and Kuwait Football Association (KFA) towards the decision, Sheikh Salman regretted that the two bodies "called for the suspension and were happy of it." He added, "It is strange that the KOC and KFA officials, who rose to eminence only through the support of the Kuwaiti government and who are supposed to represent us, revealed documents only after the ICO EB made their decision."
The minister expressed hope that the amendments, recently introduced by National Assembly to the sports laws, will prepare the ground for creating common vision for the development of the sports activities in a more orderly way. He emphasized that the Kuwaiti sports regulations ban any government interventions in the administrative and technical affairs of the local sports bodies. "There is only positive intervention in the form of support and backing for the sports bodies meant to promote the Olympic movement," he made clear.
"Looking ahead, we stress the need for a common stance and cooperation involving all concerned parties without excluding anybody. All of us have to put the interests of Kuwait above any other considerations, spare no effort to promote sports and bring back the youth to the international sports events," he concluded.