Kuwait’s sporting crisis has deepened today after the Public Sports Authority (PSA) dissolved the country’s National Olympic Committee (NOC) and Football Association (KFA) for alleged financial irregularities.
In a move brought about by the introduction of controversial sports laws, which granted the Government power to take over all sports bodies and National Federations, as well as being able to control decisions including appointments and financial matters, the PSA implemented special commissions to oversee the two organisations, according to state news agency KUNA.
The decisions were taken today at a meeting of the PSA, chaired by Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Homud Al-Sabah.
Sheikh Fahd Jaber al-Ali will head the commission which will perform the role of the NOC, replacing the sacked Sheikh Talal Fahad al-Sabah.
Fawaz al-Hassawi has been chosen to oversee the country’s football organisation, according to reports.
Both commissions will be given a six-month mandate.
PSA deputy general director Hmoud Flaiteh told KUNA that the reason behind the decision was because both the NOC and Football Association refused to co-operate to address the supposed financial issues.
"This action shows and confirms that the law contradicts the Olympic Charter, and the laws of FIFA and all other international federations," Husain Al-Musallam, director general of the Olympic Council of Asia, told insidethegames.
"It shows that the Minister responsible doesn't believe in justice, doesn't believe in arbitration and doesn't believe in WADA requirements."
The development further plunges Kuwaiti sport into exile, with the country still suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and FIFA for Government interference, due to the sports laws.
Kuwaiti athletes at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games were forced to compete under the Olympic Flag.
It comes after insidethegames was told that officials from the PSA made an unscheduled inspection visit to the KFA's headquarters, alongside representatives from multiple Government bodies as well as authorities representing several Ministries in Kuwait, earlier this month.
They carried out an inspection of the headquarters in order to find possible "violations of the building".
The visit was effectively a show of force after the Kuwaiti Government were ordered to pay the IOC CHF11,125 (£8,600/$11,500/€10,200) in legal costs after an unsuccessful appeal against the country's suspension to the Swiss Civil Courts.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last month rejected a separate appeal launched by the Asian Shooting Confederation, the Kuwait Shooting Federation and three Kuwaiti competitors defending their right to compete at Rio 2016.
Kuwait’s Fehaid Al-Deehani, a former head of the KOC Athletes Commission, became the first-ever competitor representing the Independent Olympic Athletes (IOA) team to win a gold medal after claiming victory in the men's double trap during the Games.
His compatriot Abdullah Al-Rashidi then won bronze in the men’s skeet competition.
Numerous meetings have taken place with the IOC since the suspension began last October, including one mediated by the United Nations, but all have failed to reach a resolution.
The KFA failed with a bid for reinstatement at FIFA's Congress in May, held in Mexico City, despite the launch of campaign led by a group of ex-professionals and other sporting officials who were attempting to get their ban from world football overturned.
insidethegames has contacted the IOC and FIFA for comment.