IOC lifts Kuwait suspension, can compete in 2020 Olympics

Olympics (File)
Olympics (File)

Paris - Kuwait has been cleared to compete in the 2020 Olympics after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Friday it was lifting the suspension it imposed on the Kuwait Olympic Committee (KOC) four years ago.

In a statement, the IOC said the KOC had successfully implemented "a roadmap agreed between all parties".

The announcement comes less than a week after Sheikh Fahad Nasser Sabah Ahmad Al Sabah was elected President of the KOC.

This was the third and final step in the roadmap which also required revision and adoption of new statutes for sports clubs and federations, followed by elections.

Kuwaiti Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Mohammad Al-Jabri said the move to lift the ban came after years during which "damage was inflicted in all factors of Kuwaiti sports".

Kuwait was suspended in October 2015 following "undue government interference after a sports law that was not compatible with the basic principles that govern the Olympic Movement was passed in the country".

Speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly Marzouq al-Ghanem tweeted: "Congratulations to every Kuwaiti, and to the athletes in particular... and a thousand thanks to all those who worked to achieve this goal."

The new law had threatened the autonomy of the KOC and all other national federations while also meaning the country would no longer comply with the Court of Arbitration for Sport or the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Last August, the IOC acknowledged the progress made and provisionally lifted the suspension, a decision which enabled athletes to compete in the Asian Games and the Youth Olympics.

Football's world governing body FIFA suspended the Kuwait Football Association for the same reason in October 2015, lifting the ban in December 2017.

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