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Olympic committee refuses to lift ban on Kuwait

Olympic rings at the Olympic Park during the London 2012 games [The Department for Culture, Media and Sport / Flickr]
Olympic rings at the Olympic Park during the London 2012 games [The Department for Culture, Media and Sport / Flickr]

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has rejected a request by the Kuwaiti government to lift a 14-month ban on the country’s athletes.

The IOC said in a letter to Kuwait’s Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, that it “will not be in a position to reconsider the situation” until the country complies with a number of steps to become fully compatible with the Olympic Charter.

In a request to the OIC and football governing body FIFA on 23 December, the Kuwaiti government urged the international bodies to “lift the ban on Kuwaiti sports activities temporarily until relevant local laws are revised”.

The International Olympic Committee said in its letter that “the situation has significantly deteriorated over the past months due to a number of decisions taken in violation of the principles and rules of the Olympic Charter which has constrained the IOC to react accordingly and to reiterate its position.”

The IOC also demanded the authorities immediately reinstate the Kuwaiti Olympic Committee and dissolve or dismiss any “parallel bodies/officers appointed by the Kuwaiti authorities that are not recognised by the IOC”.

Kuwait  already missed out on the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

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