KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Mohammad Al-Jabri yesterday expressed relief at a decision taken by the executive bureau of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), temporarily lifting the ban on the Kuwaiti sports, pending “completion of the roadmap that has been agreed upon by the two parties.”
Minister Jabri said in a statement that the temporary lifting of the ban came after fruitful meetings with the IOC, during which “fair members” expressed understanding and respect toward the Kuwaiti Constitution and the State laws. The road map that has been agreed upon aimed at securing stability for sports in Kuwait, Minister Jabri said. He thanked His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah for their guidance to overcome all obstacles facing the Kuwaiti athletes.
Jabri touted in particular diligent follow up on part of His Highness the Premier and expressed gratitude to all who had held the top posts of the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs and Public Authority for Sports in the past. Moreover, he said, continuous support lent by speaker and members of the National Assembly was quite effective for lifting the ban, temporarily. He affirmed that full coordination would be pursued with the IOC to implement all what has been agreed upon in the roadmap toward the aspired objective of lifting the ban permanently.
The lifting of the ban should allow Kuwaiti athletes will be able to take part in the 18th Asian Games, which open in Jakarta, Indonesia tomorrow, under their own flag and anthem. The Kuwait National Olympic Committee had been suspended since October 27, 2015 due to what the IOC described as ‘government interference’, with the country’s sports laws not being compliant to the Olympic Charter. Kuwaiti athletes were forced to participate and under the IOC flag at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, where shooter Fhaid Al-Daihani won a gold medal as an Independent Olympic Athlete in the double trap. The IOC said that its executive board will review in its next meeting in early October the situation of the Kuwait National Olympic Committee and the progress of implementing the agreements, after which it will consider maintaining the lifting of the ban.