With a Kuwaiti Sheikh challenging Olegario Vazquez Rana at tomorrows Presidential elections at the ISSF General Assembly in Munich, there is growing concern over the tactics being used in the struggle by Sheikh Salman Al-Sabah. The 58
year-old Minister of Information and Youth in Kuwait, is using his ministerial post to help him garner support instead of using his position as head of Asian Shooting Confederation.
As IOC President Thomas Bach within the discussions around his Agenda 2020 roadmap is emphasizing how important autonomy is to the survival of the Olympic Movement – both for International Federations and National Olympic Committees – it appears that Sheikh Salman does not share his concern.
In a recent letter to the South African Youth and Sports Minister, Fikile Mbalula, written on Kuwait Government paper, the Sheikh’s Director General (Ahmad Mansour Al -Sabal) reminds the South African Minister of the continued bilateral support between the two countries and then explicitly asks for the South African Youth and Sports Minister to give his support to Sheikh Salman in the upcoming ISSF presidential elections.
As Mr Mbalula does not have a vote in the ISSF election, it must be assumed that he is supposed to use his government influence with South African Shooting Sport Confederation president, Hennie Jacobs on how he should vote. According to sources close to Sheikh Ahmad Al Sabah, there is no reason to believe that the ANOC President is supporting his compatriot’s candidature. Rather it can be assumed that he wants Olegario Vazquez Rana to head the ISSF for another term, actually his 9th since elected for the first time in 1980.
Post Scriptum: Latest rumour has it, Sheikh Salman Al-Sabah is considering to withdraw his candidature in order not to lose face by a heavy defeat.
This article was republished with permission from the editor and publisher, Karl Heinz-Huba.