Two Kuwaiti football clubs refused to play for the first minute of their Premier League clash ©Twitter

A one-minute protest was carried out by players from Kuwait's two most successful football clubs as athletes continue to oppose the country's current state of sporting isolation.

All 22 players in a Kuwait Premier League tie between Al-Arabi and Al-Qadsia stood still and did nothing for the first 60 seconds after the opening whistle.

They then began playing as normal once the first minute was completed.

Al-Qadsia eventually won 2-0 at the Mohammed Al Hamad Stadium after two goals from David Da Silva.

The protest comes after the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) warned earlier this month how the state of the sport in Kuwait is "deteriorating rapidly" and that the country is currently going through an "alarming decline" because of a dispute over Government interference.

They are concerned that "irreparable damage" has been done to opportunities for young footballers in the Gulf nation.

Kuwait was suspended by organisations including FIFA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2015 for violating sporting autonomy rules.

There appears little chance of any of these bans being lifted soon.

The issue was barely discussed at last week's IOC Executive Board meeting in Pyeongchang due to the lack of progress.

Hope had been expressed by the AFC that the issues which have plagued the country would be resolved but acting Sports Minister Khaled Nasser Al-Roudan has since extended the mandate of the Government-installed interim football committee for a further three months.

Al-Roudan replaced Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, who was responsible for a controversial 2015 law which intervened in the Kuwait Olympic Committee and other National Federations, earlier this month.

This law led to the suspensions being issued by the sporting bodies.

The Government-backed Committee is chaired by Fawaz Al-Hasawi, President of Al-Qadisia between 2010 and 2012 and who now owns English club Nottingham Forest.

Marzouq Al-Ghanim, the influential Parliamentary speaker of the National Assembly, is also head of current league leaders Kuwait Sporting Club.

It is alleged that his team are getting overly lenient treatment in disputes with others.

Allegations of match-fixing to favour unnamed "certain clubs" have surfaced, while there are also fears over rising levels of violence, which led to the death of under-12 player Fisail Talal Al Mutairi of the Khetan Club.

He died on the way to a hospital as a result of injuries received in a match, the AFC said.

A total of 22 referees have also resigned in protest at the "management of certain competitions".

Al-Qadsa are the reigning Kuwait Premier League champions and won a record 17 titles since 1969.

They also won the AFC Cup in 2014.

Al-Arabi are the second most successful club with 16 victories.

"The AFC Executive Committee had already denounced Government interference at their meeting in Kuala Lumpur and they agreed that the situation was deteriorating rapidly in Kuwait with the very infrastructure of the game being threatened," the AFC said in a statement.

"Fears persist that at least one generation - possibly two - could have lost their opportunity of representing their teams and country in top level competitions - like the AFC Cup final, the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 and even the FIFA World Cup in Russia in 2018."