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Delegation seeks to assure FIFA; Kuwaiti officials, MPs fly to Switzerland

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 10, (KUNA): Chairman of the parliamentary youth affairs committee MP Abdullah Al- Maiouf said on Saturday the Kuwaiti delegation, on a mission to Switzerland, will seek to persuade FIFA that the local sports laws do not contravene with the Olympic Charter.

MP Al-Maiouf, in a statement to KUNA upon his departure to Switzerland to attend a meeting by a joint delegation of the Kuwaiti National Assembly (Parliament) and the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) with FIFA officials, said the delegation will affirm that there has been no “political meddling in the Kuwaiti sports affairs. “We will prove with evidences that laws issued by the Parliament as representative of the people do not contravene with international principles and covenants.” MP Al-Maiouf said that in case FIFA insisted on maintaining its stance, the Kuwaiti delegation would request clarification of its rules and regulations that are referred to for suspending the sports in Kuwait, and will ask FIFA about the Kuwaiti laws it considers as not in harmony with the Olympic Charter.

He added that the delegation will ask for a detailed, written and official report as to the domestic laws that FIFA believes they should be modified “for sake of pin pointing the flaws, if they exist, and casting away, for good, the prospect of suspending the sports in Kuwait.” Such legal amendments would warrant sufficient period of time for discussing and examining them, as well as referring them to the National Assembly for endorsement, MP Al-Maiouf explained, expressing optimism that the meeting with FIFA would end with a decision to “spare the Kuwaiti sports the risk of suspension.” Nine Kuwaiti clubs, out of the country’s 15 ones, at a meeting earlier this week, affirmed respect and support for the local sovereign laws, adopted by the State legislative authorities, which essentially stipulate the State non-intervention in affairs of the sports clubs, and respect for the Olympic Charter and covenants of the international federations.

The clubs had affirmed respect and support for the State of Kuwait’s sovereignty, under leadership of His Highness the Amir, His Highness the Crown Prince and His Highness the Premier. The clubs urged the Kuwaiti officials and legislators, tasked with tackling the issue with FIFA in Switzerland, to cooperate to find the best solution to the current crisis “for sake of serving interest of the youth of beloved Kuwait, and in respect for the State sovereignty, laws and regulations implemented by the Kuwait Government.” The clubs’ meeting was attended by Al-Salmiya, Kuwait, Al-Arabi, Kazma, Al-Sulaibikhat, Al- Jahraa, Burgan, Fahaheel and Yarmouk. FIFA, on Sept 24, warned the Kuwaiti Football Association that it would slap a ban on the country’s participation in international soccer events as of Oct 15, unless Kuwait amended the local sports laws and rendered them compatible with international regulations. The Kuwaiti sports sector had been penalized with an identical measure in 2007 and 2009 — lifted in 2012.

Meetings
Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah has left for Lausanne in Switzerland for meetings with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to clarify that the sports situation in Kuwait does not run counter with the Olympic Charter and international regulations. Leading a governmental delegation, the minister will assure during meetings with IOC officials that all Kuwaiti sports authorities enjoy full administrative and technical independence.

Sheikh Salman’s visit, which comes at the IOC’s invitation, coincides with flowing statements by the majority of Kuwaiti sports clubs voicing commitment to the regulations, approved by the sovereign legislative authorities of the state, and respect for the guidelines set forth in the Olympic Charter. In pre-departure press remarks today, the minister said he would clarify to International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials when meeting them that the sports situation in Kuwait does not contradict the Olympic Charter and relevant international regulations The minister added that he would also inform the IOC that all Kuwaiti sports authorities have absolute administrative and technical independence.

He added that he would stress that the State of Kuwait attaches much attention to sports and youth just out of its commitment to the constitution and in line with His Highness the Amir’s directives, while providing financial and logistic backing to sports authorities, chiefly the Kuwait Olympic Committee. Sheikh Salman went on saying that he would further reaffirm Kuwait’s abidance by the IOC’s charter and international sports federations’ regulations. Meanwhile, a Kuwaiti parliamentary delegation has left for Lausanne for talks with the IOC in an effort to prove that Kuwaiti sports laws are totally compatible with the Olympic Charter.

Chairman of the parliamentary youth affairs committee MP Abdullah Al- Maiouf said on Saturday the Kuwaiti delegation, on a mission to Switzerland, would seek to persuade the FIFA that the local sports laws do not run counter with the Olympic Charter. “We will prove with evidences that laws issued by the Parliament as representative of the people do not contravene with international principles and covenants.” However, Al-Maiouf said that in case the FIFA insisted on maintaining its stance, the Kuwaiti delegation would request clarification of its rules and regulations that are referred to for suspending the sports in Kuwait, and would even ask the FIFA about the Kuwaiti laws it considers as not in harmony with the Olympic Charter.

He added that the delegation would ask for a detailed, written and official report as to the domestic laws that FIFA believes they should be modified “for sake of pinpointing the flaws, if they exist, and casting away, for good, the prospect of suspending the sports in Kuwait.” Such legal amendments would warrant sufficient period of time for discussing and examining them, as well as referring them to the National Assembly for endorsement, MP Al-Maiouf explained, expressing optimism that the meeting with the FIFA would end with a decision to “spare the Kuwaiti sports the risk of suspension.” Nine Kuwaiti clubs, out of the country’s 15 ones, at a meeting earlier this week, affirmed respect and support for the local sovereign laws, adopted by the State legislative authorities, which essentially stipulate the State’s non-interference in the affairs of the sports clubs, and respect for the Olympic Charter and covenants of the international federations.

The clubs had affirmed respect and support for the State of Kuwait’s sovereignty, under the leadership of His Highness the Amir, His Highness the Crown Prince and His Highness the Premier. Kuwaiti sports officials had affirmed that local laws do not contradict the Olympic Charter and constituent laws of international sports federations.

The officials, in remarks to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), emphasized that there has been no government interference, whatsoever, that may impede the Kuwaiti sports, noting that without the material and moralistic support given by the Government and the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS), the national clubs and sports federation would not have been able to practice their role locally and abroad.

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