Nott Forest owner resigns from Kuwait Football Association after team withdrawal

Fawaz Al-Hassawi’s resignation was linked to a dispute over player suspensions



The head of Kuwait’s football association has resigned and one of its top teams has withdrawn from league competition with another to follow, according to reports.

Kuwait Times said both teams were dropping out after complaints against the league’s chaotic disciplinary system.

Fawaz Al-Hassawi, the Kuwaiti owner of English Championship club Nottingham Forest who was appointed head of the national governing body in August, announced his resignation via Twitter on Sunday.

He took the reins after authorities dissolved the country’s previous Football Association in August prompting international criticism.

Read: Olympic Committee condemns Kuwait after sports bodies dissolved

Al-Hassawi’s decision came hours after the football association’s competition committee rejected complaints of clubs fielding suspended players.

Al-Arabi Sports Club filed an official complaint two weeks ago after Kuwait Sports Club fielded a suspended player during a VIVA Football League match the latter won 2-1.

Defender Fahd Al-Hajri was given a red card on November 2 in a Crown Prince Cup match between Kuwait Sports and Kazma Sports Club and suspended for two games after arguing with the referee.

There was then confusion about the second game suspension and whether it applied to just cup games or all games.

Al-Arabi argued it should apply to its match and the club be awarded an automatic 3:0 win but this was rejected by committee chief Saad Al-Bughaili.

Kuwait Times said Salmiya Sports Club also filed a similar complaint against Jahra Sports Club for fielding two apparently suspended players previously but this was also rejected.

Al-Arabi announced on Sunday it was officially withdrawing from the VIVA League after losing the appeal.

“We are convinced that honourable people in Kuwait’s sports scene have become fewer, and therefore we officially announce withdrawing from the VIVA League,” said Abdulaziz Ashour, Al-Arabi’s vice president on the club’s Twitter account. Salmiya is also expected to withdraw, according to the publication.

Al-Arabi later addressed Hassawi directly saying: “Justice and equal opportunities do not exist in your federation. “Your presence in the temporary committee tarnishes your sportive history.”

Hassawi later announced his resignation alongside other association officials including vice president of the competition’s committee Abbas Dashti and temporary management committee members Hussein Al-Khadri and Saleh Al-Enezi.

Local reports yesterday suggested Hassawi has now withdrawn his resignation but there has been no confirmation.

Outside of Kuwait, the businessman has indicated his willingness to sell all or part of Nottingham Forest in recent months, with reports in October suggesting he wanted GBP50m for an 80 per cent stake.

FIFA suspended the Kuwait Football Association and Kuwaiti teams from all international competitions in October 2015 citing government intervention.

The country has similarly fallen foul of the International Olympic Committee, with Kuwaiti athletes given the choice of performing under the Olympic flag at this year’s summer games in Brazil.

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