Kuwait criticises FIFA suspension as it cancels Gulf Cup

Kuwait criticises FIFA suspension as it cancels Gulf Cup
FIFA's decision to suspend the Kuwait Football Association led the cabinet to withdraw from hosting the 23rd Arabian Gulf cup, scheduled to be held in the emirate in December.
2 min read
20 October, 2015
No substitute: The suspension leaves the Kuwaiti football team in limbo [Getty]
A Kuwaiti official has criticised the decision of the international football federation, FIFA, to suspend the country's football association. Kuwait has susequently withdrawn from hosting the upcoming Arabian Gulf Cup.

Information Minister Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al Houd Al Sabah said FIFA's decision on Friday to suspend the country's soccer association because of alleged government interference in the Kuwait Football Association was "utterly unconvincing and unjustifiable", the official Kuwait News Agency reported.

The minster said his country would work with international authorities to resolve any issues in the administration of the sport.

Kuwait has been banned by FIFA twice before for government interference, in 2007 and 2008, Reuters reported.

The ban means Kuwaiti teams and clubs are banned from international competition, and the association and its members are barred from receiving any FIFA development assistance funding.

On Monday, the Kuwaiti cabinet decided to step down as host of the 23rd Arabian Gulf Cup, scheduled to kick off on 22 December and have the final whistle on 4 January.

The cup was originally supposed to be held in Iraq this February, but Baghdad was not able to host the tournament and apologised, Emirates-based Arabic-language football news website Koora reported.

Kuwait has hosted the cup three times before, and won the cup a record ten times.

The current holders are Qatar, who defeated Saudi Arabia 2-1 in the final last year.