KUWAIT CITY, Oct 19: The Cabinet on Monday decided that Kuwait would not host the 23rd Gulf Cup of Nations scheduled for December 2015. The decision was made during Monday’s Cabinet weekly meeting held at Bayan Palace and chaired by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, in line with a proposal by Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah.
Sheikh Salman had briefed the Cabinet on the outcome of the recent joint meeting with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne, Switzerland, that discussed compatibility of the sports laws in Kuwait on the legal and organizing level, said Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah.
The Kuwaiti delegation, that included head of the National Assembly Youth and Sports Committee MP Abdullah Al-Maiouf and committee member Abdullah Al- Turaiji, clarified the situation to the IOC. They reiterated that the Kuwaiti sports laws do not contravene with the Olympic Charter or the relevant international criteria.
They also stressed the fact that the Kuwaiti sports bodies are “fully independent.” The Information Minister explained the circumstances of the FIFA decision to suspend the Kuwait Football Association (KFA) from taking part in any international competitions, and how the move was “arbitrary and hasty.” It entails banning national teams and clubs from international competition. Sheikh Salman informed the Cabinet about the procedures to be taken to resolve the crisis, in line with Kuwait’s sovereignty and legal and constitutional system.
The Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs suggested that after the FIFA move, Kuwait would not host the 23rd Gulf Cup of Nations, and the suggestion was given the Cabinet’s approval. The ministers had reviewed all the relevant regretful developments, their reasons and implications.
It expressed deep regret over the decision that might cause harm to Kuwait’s reputation as a country well-known for its full compliance with the international institutions and respect of laws and charters.
The Cabinet tasked the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) with taking the proper procedures to counter all forms of deviation in the sport scene and to achieve the aspired reforms in its various institutions in line with directives of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah and His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The meeting highly appreciated the sincere efforts by Minister Sheikh Salman and PAYS, and stressed the necessity of keeping them up to realize the aspired national goals.
The ministers lauded efforts by the National Assembly represented by two MPs who took part in defending Kuwait’s international reputation in Lausanne. They highlighted the national stance by the Kuwaiti clubs that rejected the FIFA decision, reiterating that Kuwait’s sports laws are in line with the international charters.
As Monday’s meeting started, the Cabinet was notified of His Highness the Amir’s commissioning His Highness the Prime Minister to represent him at the 4th Arab-Latin America Summit due in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in November, the Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs said. Meanwhile, the Cabinet approved and referred to His Highness the Amir two legal draft bills, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah said. The first is on amending a host of provisions of Penal Code Law 16/1960 and the other on altering Item 11 of Law 40/1972 on Cases of Appealing by Cassation and its Procedures.
The Cabinet concluded the routine meeting with a review of the political developments on the Arab and international scenes. MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji says he intends to call for a special session to discuss the sport situation in Kuwait and hear the government’s viewpoint about sports development, especially after the international governing body of football International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) suspended Kuwait Football Association (KFA) for failing to change the country’s sports law within the given deadline.
He revealed that 11 Kuwaiti clubs signed a letter addressed to FIFA in which they insisted that the Kuwaiti laws do not conflict with the charter and that the government does not interfere in their activities and responsibilities, affirming that this letter is an indication of a good beginning for the Kuwaiti clubs, as they have started to emerge and express themselves. Indicating that the Kuwaiti sports arena was earlier run by an unknown individual, MP Al-Turaiji expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the clubs that came out from under the cloak and seized control of the power. He said the sports clubs are supposed to submit a request to hold an extraordinary general assembly for voting on noconfidence motion against the current board of KFA.
Stressing that the current KFA is run by a single member while the rest seem to have no say, the lawmaker revealed that the current KFA might get no-confidence vote because of its failure in developing the Kuwaiti sports arena even though it was in the forefront in the past. He reiterated his confidence in the 11 clubs in completing their journey by submitting no-confidence vote against the current KFA, adding that the clubs will send a letter to FIFA and it plans to hold a general assembly meeting, after FIFA banned Kuwaiti teams and clubs from participating in international competitions. Meanwhile, MP Abdulhameed Dashti urged the presidency and secretariat of the National Assembly to take the initiative of publishing a detailed statement about the performance of each MP in the committees that they are members of and reveal the number of times each of them attended the meetings of their respective committees, the number of times they were absent and the number of times they apologized for not attending the sessions on time as well as to look into arranging the Parliament Office and Parliamentary Committees lineup.
In a press statement, Dashti revealed that he highlighted the above aspects in order to ensure such activities are under the control of the National Assembly and to prevent some lawmakers from being absent in their respective committee meetings, adding that many committees failed to get the necessary quorum in their meetings because of the repeated absence and breach of regulation by the members, which in turn weakened the committee’s productivity.
He stressed the importance of each committee member being committed and keen in order to ensure those who supervise the committees’ work can guarantee the success of the committees in realizing achievements, which in turn will positively impact the Parliament’s work and achievements. Dashti said the presidency of the Parliament and the committee in charge of identifying the MPs’ preference of positions and committees of the Parliament must advice some individuals, who seek for positions without necessary qualifications, to withdraw from the race, adding, “Even though the personal right of each MP is important, the rights of the people will always override the personal interests of MPs”.
He urged the National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim to issue a statement to clarify the rumors about the plans to remove him from the committees that he is a member of, even though “I did a great job which can be proven from the minutes of the committees’ meetings”, adding that such plans are in violation of the Constitution and the regulations. He went on to say, “If this rumor is true, it will be a disastrous precedent for the Parliamentary work of this era. We are confident that the president of the Parliament will take the proper approach without violating any legal frameworks”. Dashti insisted that the Parliament, instead of plotting against the loyal, competent and talented MPs, must first think about how to deal with the committees’ productivity issue, the weakness of some of their advisers and the lack of commitment to quorum in the committees, which puts extra burden on the MPs who attend committees regularly.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff and Agencies