Kuwait MPs call for emergency session to end international sports ban

The country has been suspended from international competitions since October 2015



Opposition MPs in Kuwait yesterday called for an emergency session to debate a solution to end the country’s suspension from international sports.

The country been suspended from international competitions by football governing body FIFA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since October 2015 after introducing new laws granting greater state control of national sports associations.

Kuwait Times reports that 11 opposition MPs called for the session to be held on Wednesday, two days before the country’s deadline for rectifying its sports legislation to take part in the qualifying for the 2019 Asia football cup.

Lawmakers previously passed recommendation to take necessary steps to lift the ban during the opening session of the new parliament on December 11.

The country’ minister of information and youth, Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, has indicated it is willing to sit down with FIFA or the IOC to discuss the issue provided it does not breach Kuwait’s constitution or sovereignty.

At least three MPs have threatened to grill the minister, according to the publication.

MPs have also submitted a draft law calling for the scrapping of all controversial sports laws issued in 2013, 2014, 2015 and earlier this year that are considered in violation of international charters by world sports authorities.

In August, the IOC accused the country of inflaming tensions after dissolving its Olympic Committee and national football association.

Read: Olympic Committee condemns Kuwait after sports bodies dissolved

The letter was the second sent by the IOC to Kuwait in less than a month after it accused the country of aggravating tensions during the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Read: Olympic Committee accuses Kuwait of ‘aggravating’ tensions

Kuwait did not take part in this year’s Rio Olympics, although Kuwaiti Fehiad Aldehaani did win a gold medal in the double trap competition under the Olympic flag.

Pictures: Kuwaiti gold medal winner Aldeehani arrives home

The country is also not taking part in qualifiers for the 2018 football world cup.

Kuwait’s government has accused citizens occupying top roles at international sports organisations of conspiring to cause its suspension.

The decision whether or not to hold the emergency session is expected today.

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