The Government of Kuwait dissolves three National Sports Federations

Kuwaiti Parliament building. Photo: xiquinhosilva/Flickr


By Mads A. Wickstrøm
The Kuwaiti Government has dissolved the National Federations for equestrian, gymnastics and squash ahead of November 28 parliamentary elections.

The government decision comes amid a tumultuous backdrop, which has seen the Kuwaiti Olympic Committee along with the national bodies for basketball, football, handball, judo and swimming being replaced by interim committees led by individuals loyal to the Kuwaiti Sports Ministry. The decision is the latest development in a series of events marking the deterioration of the relationship between the international sports world and the Kuwaiti authorities.

The IOC has threatened the new “parallel” National Olympic Committee set up by the Kuwaiti government with legal action due to violations of independence and branding rules.

"In accordance with the Olympic Charter, only those NOCs duly recognised by the IOC are entitled to enjoy the status of an NOC and can designate, identify or refer to themselves as National Olympic Committees," IOC deputy secretary general Pere Miró wrote to Sheikh Fahad, president of the 'parallel' NOC in a letter obtained by Inside the games.

Earlier this year, the offices of the National Football Association as well as the National Olympic Committee were seized by Kuwaiti authorities due to alleged financial irregularities. Furthermore, the International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s suspension of Kuwait from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro saw the introduction of a new law giving the government of Kuwait the power to dissolve all sporting bodies. It is expected that more sporting bodies will be affected before the new Parliament is due to convene on December 12.





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