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Thu 22 Jan 2015 01:59 PM

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Qatar's debt-ridden sports clubs to be reformed, says minister

Sports minister says gov’t funded sports clubs are outdated and being run 'behind the curtains' without proper financial accountability

Qatar's debt-ridden sports clubs to be reformed, says minister
(Getty Images)

Qatar’s debt-ridden and outdated professional sporting clubs will be forced to reform, Minister for Youth and Sports Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser Al Ali has reportedly said.

He has called for club administrators to be made more accountable for financial management of the clubs, which are all government funded. 

“[The] majority of the sports clubs in Qatar have debts of tens of millions of riyals and their administrative system is outdated,” the minister was quoted as saying by Arabic daily Al Sharq.

“One of the reasons for amending the law is that currently there is no proper system to make the club administrations accountable and ensure proper monitoring.”

Al Ali proposed modernising club management by making them more transparent and giving greater power to chairmen rather than boards.

There are 18 registered sports clubs in Qatar, according to Qatar Olympic Committee. Most of them started as small football clubs before growing into professional, multi-sport organisations, Doha News said.

The clubs are fully funded by the Qatari government in a bid to increase sports participation as well as boost the country’s international sporting profile.

But Al Ali said some clubs were being managed “behind the curtains” by boards that never met.

He proposed club chairmen be elected by a general assembly and be given powers to recruit and assign staff.

Government-funded clubs would be forced to submit their accounts to the Ministry for audit.

However, other members of the parliamentary sports advisory council have rejected Al Ali’s proposals, particularly concerned about giving too much power to club chairmen.

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