(ATR) The IOC may have provisionally lifted its suspension of the Kuwait Olympic Committee, but work over the next three months will decide the committee’s fate.
Obaid Z. Al-Anzi holding the Kuwait flag in Jakarta (ATR)
The KOC was represented in Jakarta, Indonesia at the 2018 Olympic Council of Asia General Assembly by secretary general Obaid Z. Al-Anzi. He spoke with Around the Rings
about the state of the suspension, saying that new elections for sports clubs, national federations, and the Olympic committee must still occur.
Kuwait has been suspended by the IOC since 2015 due to government interference in the country’s National Olympic Committee. In that time Al-Anzi said that the standard of sport in the country has “gone down” because of the lack of ability to organize national training camps or receive solidarity funding.
The provisional lifting of the suspension by the IOC means that Kuwait can compete at the 2018 Asian Games under its own flag, and now the Olympic committee can resume operations. The suspension was provisionally lifted when the Kuwaiti government accepted a roadmap to new elections within the NOC as well as sports clubs and national federations.
If those elections take place without incident, Kuwait will have less than two years to prepare for the 2020 Olympic Games. Al-Anzi said such a shortened timeline will make it hard to produce elite athletes for the Games. The only sport that Kuwait will be competitive in will be shooting, where the national federation has not been suspended for interference.
Al-Anzi said he was “not confident” that the there could be a guarantee that the provisional lifting of the suspension would stay. Whether Kuwaiti sport would be back in the good graces of the IOC fully rests with the government.
“I have to go back [to Kuwait] and and be received by the government,” Al-Anzi said. “What they do [next] I am still not sure.”
Written and reported by Aaron Bauer in Jakarta
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