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Panel finalizes sports law to lift sanctions

KUWAIT: The National Assembly’s youth and sports committee and the government yesterday agreed on a draft sports law aimed at lifting the 18-month international suspension on Kuwaiti sports. Rapporteur of the committee MP Ahmad Al-Fadhl said the panel discussed with State Minister for Youth Affairs Khaled Al-Roudhan the final details of the draft law after reviewing a government draft and six proposals by lawmakers.

He said it was agreed that the government will send a copy of the draft legislation to the International Olympic Committee before it is sent to the Assembly for approval. Fadhl expected that there will be no objection from the IOC, since its opinion is included in the draft law, adding that the legislation was prepared in such a way that it complies with international sports charters and at the same time does not contradict with the Kuwaiti constitution and laws.

IOC and world football body FIFA, in addition to several international sports organizations, suspended Kuwaiti sports in Oct 2015 over alleged government interference in sports, which contradicts international sports charters. The world sports organizations cited changes introduced to the Kuwaiti sports law between 2012 and 2015 that gave the government the right to interfere in sports’ internal affairs.

Former youth minister Sheikh Salman Hmoud Al-Sabah had rejected the demands by world sports federations and considered them as an interference in Kuwait’s internal affairs. He even dissolved the board of directors of Kuwait Olympic Committee and several other federations, escalating tensions with international sports organizations. The situation changed following November’s snap polls in which the opposition won half of the 50 seats. A majority of the opposition lawmakers urged the former minister to respond positively to international sports bodies’ demands to secure lifting the sanctions. The minister refused and he was grilled and forced to resign after a large number of MPs said they would support a no-confidence motion against him.

MP Omar Al-Tabtabaei said yesterday that he and a number of lawmakers have submitted a law proposing regulations on rents in the private housing sector in order to prevent rent from eating up most of the citizens’ salaries. Tabtabaei said the proposal concerns rents in the private housing sector and not in investment or commercial housing (apartment buildings). He said the proposal aims to check the increase in rent, which forces many citizens to pay half of their salaries in rent while waiting for many years for a government house. Tabtabaei said they also submitted another proposal to establish a new city with all services to provide an efficient solution to the housing problem.

By B Izzak

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