Kuwait's parliament passes new sports law in bid to overturn bans

FIFA and IOC have banned Kuwait from competing over government interference in its sporting bodies
Kuwait's National Assembly has unanimously approved a new sports law on Sunday that it believes will bring an end the bans imposed by world footballing body FIFA and the International Olmypic Council (IOC).
By AFP
Sun 03 Dec 2017 05:52 PM

Kuwait's parliament on Sunday endorsed a new law on sport which it hopes will end bans  from international competitions over alleged government interference.

World sports bodies led by FIFA and the International Olympic Committee suspended Kuwait in October 2015 for the second time since 2010 over alleged government meddling in sports.

In 2016, the authorities dissolved Kuwait's sports bodies including its Olympic committee and football federation.

It later set up temporary committees in their place, but FIFA and the IOC have refused to recognise those bodies.

The official KUNA news agency said parliament voted for the new law "in a step affirming the independence of sports".

The agency also quoted acting minister of state for youth affairs, Khaled al-Roudhan, as saying the law will lead to an end to the ban.

"Now we have a law that fulfills international conditions and criteria," he said.

Roudhan added that he would soon write to FIFA asking it to lift the ban, KUNA added.

Analysts say Kuwait's sports crisis, which has blocked the country from taking part in international competitions, is the result of a power struggle within the ruling elite.

Kuwait has been barred from taking part in qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup, the 2019 Asian Cup, and before that the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The world bodies have set out three conditions for accepting Kuwait back: it must issue a new sports law in line with international treaties, drop lawsuits it brought against the world governing bodies and reinstate its original sports committees.

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