Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak
Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak

KUWAIT: The Cabinet yesterday decided that Kuwait would not host the 23rd Gulf Cup of Nations scheduled for Dec 2015. The decision was made yesterday during the Cabinet’s weekly meeting held at Bayan Palace and chaired by HH 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 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 Al-Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah.

The Kuwaiti delegation, that included head of the National Assembly’s Youth and Sports Committee MP Abdullah Al-Maayouf 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 relevant international criteria.

They also stressed the fact that the Kuwaiti sports bodies are “fully independent”. The Information Minister explained the circumstances of FIFA’s 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 competitions. 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 suggested that after the FIFA move, Kuwait would not host the 23rd Gulf Cup of Nations, and the suggestion got the Cabinet’s approval. The ministers had reviewed all the relevant regretful developments, their reasons and implications. The Cabinet expressed deep regret over the decision that might cause harm to Kuwait’s reputation as a country well-known for its full compliance with 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 sports scene and achieve the aspired reforms in its various institutions in line with directives of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah and HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

The meeting highly appreciated the sincere efforts by 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 the 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 international charters.

Meanwhile, Turaiji said yesterday that lawmakers will demand a special debate on the sports issue in the country. Turaiji and several other MPs accused the leadership of KFA of being responsible for plotting the suspension and called on the government to dissolve its board of directors. He said that 11 of the 14 sports clubs in the country have decided to send a letter to FIFA stating that the government does not interfere in sports institutions and the law governing sports is sufficient. — Agencies