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Kuwait making strides towards lifting of FIFA, Olympic bans, says minister
October 22, 2017, 3:11 pm

Kuwait has made significant progress in its bid to have the bans imposed by FIFA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) lifted, according to a government minister. Amendments to the country’s Sports Law have been proposed, in agreement with the international footballing body FIFA, according to Khaled Al-Roudhan, Minister of Commerce and Industry and acting Minister of State for Youth Affairs.

Those amendments, which are expected to resolve any differences with international sports laws and charters, have been endorsed by the country’s National Assembly's youth and sports committee (YSC), state news agency KUNA reported.

The sports committee has now submitted the amendments to the National Assembly for approval, and once they are approved, Al-Roudhan said the IOC would be briefed. Al-Roudhan added that there would still be some steps to be taken in order to lift the suspensions, without elaborating further.

The IOC suspended Kuwait in October 2015, accusing the government of interference in its national Olympic committee. The disagreement between Kuwait and the IOC is over a sports law which the Olympic body says is undermining the autonomy of sport in the country. Kuwait, however, is convinced the law strengthens the independence of sports bodies.

The ban means the country's Olympic committee and its athletes are not eligible for any funding from the IOC for the duration of the suspension and cannot take part in any IOC-linked event. Kuwaiti athletes eligible to compete at the Rio Games had to do so as neutral athletes under the Olympic flag.

Veteran shooter Fehaid Aldeehani won the men's double trap event but he could not celebrate it as a Kuwaiti. Instead he was recognised as the first independent athlete ever to win a gold medal. Kuwait's football federation has also been suspended by world soccer's governing body FIFA over government interference. The former minister of information and youth affairs resigned in February this year over international sports ban.

Source: Arabian Business

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