KUWAIT CITY, Dec 23, (KUNA): His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah inaugurated Friday the 23rd Arabian Gulf Cup, at Jaber International Stadium. His Highness the Amir arrived at the stadium earlier and was received by Deputy Premier and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh, who also chaired the Gulf Cup organizing committee.
Also receiving His Highness the Amir were Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister of State for Youth Khaled Al-Roudhan, Public Authority for Sport’s acting Director General Dr Humoud Flaiteh, the Cabinet’s Secretary General for Administration and Finance Osama Al-Duaij and President of Kuwait Football Association (KFA) Sheikh Ahmad Al-Sabah.
The opening ceremony was attended by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Parliament Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim, Sheikh Jaber Abdullah Al-Sabah, Sheikh Faisal Suad Al-Sabah, His Highness Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al- Ahmad Al-Sabah, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al- Sabah and FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
Also attending were First Deputy Premier and Defense Minister Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, GCC Secretary General Abdullatif Al-Zayani, Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Sheikh Khaled Jarrah Al-Sabah, Acting Minister of Amiri Diwan Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Sabah, Ministers and commanders of army, police, national guard and fire department.
Minister Al-Roudhan, in a speech, welcomed His Highness the Amir and the teams from the Gulf countries. He said the Kuwaitis and Gulf people realized His Highness the Amir’s desire to hold the Gulf Cup as scheduled and with attendance of all teams.
Al-Roudhan said the Gulf Cup was held after FIFA lifted an international ban on Kuwait football, which materialized due to cooperation among the government, the National Assembly and sport clubs. He said the Gulf Cup was not a mere sport event, but reflected bonds of fraternity. “The Gulf is the safe haven for all of us, and we will always be defending it and protected by it,” he said. The first game was held and Saudi Arabia beat Kuwait 2-1. His Highness the Amir left the stadium following the game opener.