(ATR) Kuwaiti athletes will be able to take part in the 18th Asian Games under their own flag and anthem.
Kuwait NOC had been suspended since October of 2015 (Kuwait NOC)
The IOC Executive Board on Thursday conditionally lifted the suspension of the Kuwait National Olympic Committee, just two days before the opening ceremony of the Asian Games in Indonesia.
The Kuwaiti delegation to the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, numbering 40 athletes and officials, will be led by the country’s NOC president Sheikh Talal Fahd Al Sabah.
"We are very grateful to the President of the IOC for his management," Abdul Al-Aryan, vice president of the Kuwait Tennis Federation, told Around The Rings
at the annual general meeting of the International Tennis Federation in Florida.
The Kuwait NOC had been suspended since October 27, 2015 due to government interference, with the country’s sports laws not being compliant to the Olympic Charter.
As a result of the suspension, Kuwaiti athletes participated without national identity and under the IOC flag during the Rio 2016 Games. Kuwait athletes did not compete at the Winter Games in PyeongChang.
The IOC has suspended Kuwait three times in the past decade.
At the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, Kuwaiti athletes competed as independent athletes under the Olympic flag. In 2012 the suspension was lifted just before the London Games.
Should Kuwait stay in the good graces of the IOC rules, Kuwaiti athletes will also be able to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games under their own flag.
FIFA, which had suspended the Kuwait Football Association, lifted its ban in December 2017.
Written by Gerard Farek
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