Kuwait vows to comply with IOC and Fifa laws

KUWAIT CITY • The Kuwaiti government on Monday agreed to amend controversial sports legislation in a bid to end a 14-month international suspension led by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and world football's governing body Fifa, lawmakers said.

The Gulf state's public sports authority pledged in a letter to parliament that it will issue within six months a new law that conforms with the international sports charter, MP Abdulwahab Al Babtain said.

The authority also pledged to invite the IOC and Fifa to Kuwait to ensure the new legislation is agreed by all parties, he said on his Twitter account.

In October last year, world sports bodies led by the IOC and Fifa suspended Kuwait for the second time since 2010 over alleged government interference in sports.

The suspension was due to legislation issued in the past few years allowing the government to interfere in local sports federations and undermine their independence.

As a result, the wealthy emirate was barred from taking part in this year's Olympic Games and qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

The opposition, which won nearly half of the 50 seats in last month's parliamentary elections, pressed the government to rectify bills that violate international sports laws.

Analysts say the sports crisis was in part the result of a political struggle involving senior members of the ruling al-Sabah family and politicians.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 21, 2016, with the headline 'Kuwait vows to comply with IOC and Fifa laws'. Print Edition | Subscribe