Kuwait's chances of appearing in the final round of the AFC Cup appear to be receding ©Getty Images

Kuwait appears poised to miss an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) deadline to be re-instated as a member of FIFA in order to be eligible to compete at the Asian Cup in 2019.

This comes despite an initial deadline of December 18 having been pushed back five days until Friday (December 23) - a month before the January 23 draw day for the final qualification round.

A special session of Parliament is due to be held in Kuwait tomorrow to discuss the next steps following a vote earlier this month in which a two thirds majority voted to abolish a new law which led to the country's isolation from international sport.

But insidethegames understands that progress is unlikely to be made at the meeting due to the likely absence of a lot of the officials most supportive of repealing the laws.

Kuwait was suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in October 2015 for Government interference, with FIFA and numerous other International Federations swiftly following suit.

Athletes from Kuwait were only able to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympics independently under the Olympic Flag and, after several United Nations-brokered attempts to reach an agreement failed, the situation escalated further earlier this year when the new law was granted by the Sports Ministry.

This gave them the power to take over all sports bodies and National Federations, as well as being able to control decisions including appointments and financial matters.

The Kuwait Olympic Committee has already been dissolved in this way along with national governing bodies for football, swimming, handball, basketball and judo.

Kuwait's Parliament are due to discuss developments at a special session tomorrow ©Getty Images
Kuwait's Parliament are due to discuss developments at a special session tomorrow ©Getty Images

All nine bodies have been replaced by "Interim Committees" led by figures seen as loyal to the Sports Ministry.

Both the IOC and FIFA have since threatened legal action against these rival bodies and claim they will never be recognised.

Thirty-four of the 50 members of the new Parliament sworn-in following elections last month voted to repeal the law in order to end Kuwait's sporting pariah status.

Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, the Minister of State for Youth Affairs and the former Asian Shooting Confederation President who is thought to be behind the initial law, has now pledged in a letter to Parliament that the Government will issue a new law within six months that conforms with the international sports charter.

But this timeline will not comply with the AFC deadline and has been interpreted as an attempt to stall for time. 

Kuwait won as hosts during the 1980 Asian Cup and also came second in 1976 and third in 1984.

Kuwait beat South Korea 3-0 to win the 1980 Asian Cup ©YouTube
Kuwait beat South Korea 3-0 to win the 1980 Asian Cup ©YouTube

They have exited during the group stage of the two most recent editions, in 2011 and 2015, but progressed to the final round of 2019 qualifiers before their suspension. 

They are also currently expected to participate as Independent Olympic Athletes at February's Asian Winter Games in Sapporo. 

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti IOC member and President of the Olympic Council of Asia and Association of National Olympic Committees, is also an AFC representative on the FIFA Executive Committee.

He is considered a rival of Sheikh Salman, his cousin, and their personal animosity is thought to have contributed to the recent struggles.