Sheikh Ahmad: “I will continue to protect the value of democracy, freedom of right of speech and the autonomy of the sports.” Statement by the Olympic Council of Asia
Kuwait is facing a very difficult moment in its Olympic and sports history and its role in the international sports movement. The recent introduction of sports laws which threatened the autonomy of sport in Kuwait were introduced in response to the outcome of the last International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) elections in December 2014 , and have led the IOC to suspend the Kuwait Olympic Committee on October 27, 2015.
Certain individuals who introduced these sports laws have further sought to seek retribution on the OCA for the suspension and have lobbied for the termination of the OCA’s agreement with the Kuwaiti government after 35 years of close collaboration.
These individuals are also threatening to ban Kuwaiti athletes from being able to compete at international events – including the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The latest incident in this unfortunate situation is that the OCA President has now been personally targeted for criticisms he made on the general situation in Kuwait during a television interview three years ago.
As a result, he has been charged by the Kuwait Misdemeanour Court and risks being kept in custody or having to pay a fine for the comments he made. The OCA President is strongly appealing against these findings and denies any wrongdoing.
The OCA President said: “This is a personal attack and unfortunately is symptomatic of the current relationship between Kuwait and the sports movement. Under Kuwait’s Democratic Constitution, it is my right to express my opinion freely, and that is all that I have done. “I have fought against all forms of corruption and promoted freedom of speech all my life; when I was in the military, when I was in the government and now within the sports movement. I will continue to protect the value of democracy, freedom of right of speech and the autonomy of the sports.”
Finally, OCA would like to thank the Olympic Movement, the international sports movement and the wider international community for the support and solidarity they have shown to the OCA Family . Together, we must stand united in the fight against all forms of corruption and protect the autonomy of sport.
Olympic Council of Asia
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