News 3 March 2016

IOC to take no action against Sheikh Ahmad

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided to take no action into the conduct of Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah during the FIFA presidential election last week, after a candidate filed a complaint, reports World Football Insider. It is understood that Sheikh Ahmad had been accused of breaching IOC ethics rules by lobbying for votes for Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa. Such speculation intensified after Sheikh Ahmad was spotted repeatedly leaving his seat at the FIFA Executive Committee table.

In December last year, Sheikh Ahmad, a member of the Kuwaiti royal family and President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), was handed a six-month jail sentence for allegedly disobeying a prosecutor’s gag order by discussing a video involving a purported plan to overthrow the Kuwaiti government, as reported by the Sports Integrity Initiative. The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) issued a press release suggesting that the sentence was due to political wrangling over control of sport in Kuwait, but it has since been removed from its internet site.

In October last year, the IOC suspended Kuwait due to ‘undue government interference’ in sport. Seventeen other international federations, including FIFA, followed suit. The suspensions mean that Kuwait cannot take part in qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and could even mean Kuwaiti athletes could be banned from competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

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