IOC bans Kuwait over government interference

Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:03pm EDT
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DUBAI (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee has suspended Kuwait for the second time in five years over government interference in the country's Games committee.

The IOC said on Tuesday it met the government and the Kuwait Olympic Committee on Oct. 12 to resolve the issue over a piece of sports legislation that was seen as threatening the autonomy of the Olympic body but the talks proved fruitless.

"The Olympic Movement in Kuwait has faced a number of issues to preserve its autonomy, in particular due to recently amended sports legislation in Kuwait," the IOC added.

It said an Oct. 27 deadline was set at this month's meeting "to resolve the issues at hand or, at least, freeze the application of the conflictive provisions of the sports legislation until a reasonable and mutually acceptable solution could be found".

But with the government of Kuwait not taking any action, the IOC proceeded with the suspension and that means the country cannot participate in any Olympic-related activity including the Games.

Rio de Janeiro will host the Summer Games next year.

Kuwait was also banned in 2010 over a similar dispute but was reinstated before the 2012 London Olympics.

The country's soccer federation was also banned by soccer's governing body FIFA earlier this month over government interference in the running of the Kuwait FA.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Tony Jimenez)