AFC critical of Kuwaiti political intervention and warns MAs to stay clear

August 30 – The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has issued a strongly worded statement opposing the Kuwait government’s intervention at the Kuwait Football Association (KFA) and said that “it will not recognise the Kuwait government installed football body, its amended statues nor its member clubs.”

Kuwaiti police yesterday raided the KFA and Kuwait National Olympic Committee offices and ordered all officials to leave and that force would be used to evict them if they refused to go.

The AFC condemned the threats saying: “Any form of government interference in the running of a Member Association is in breach of the FIFA and AFC Statutes. The AFC supports the stance taken by FIFA in suspending the Kuwait Football Association (KFA) from all football.

“The AFC Executive Committee has, on several occasions, reiterated its stance against government intervention in the running of sport and football in particular.

“At meetings in Delhi last November, Doha in January, Kuala Lumpur in March and in Mexico City in May, the AFC Executive Committee has made it clear that there was no place or justification for government interference in the running of Member Associations.”

The AFC has instructed its member associations “not to deal or have contact with the new officials that have been appointed by the Kuwait government.”

At the heart of the issues in Kuwait is the position of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah who is the president of the Olympic Council of Asia (since 1991) and a FIFA council member. He has held various political positions in the country in the past and has been targeted by the ruling party and royal family, with sports being their weapon of choice.

The AFC statement said: “Clearly there is no justification for the threat of forced eviction for any of our Member Associations from their headquarters. The AFC will not recognise any amendments to the KFA Statutes nor the statutes of its member clubs, or any change to the office-bearers (including elected officials) of the KFA and its member clubs.”

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