Kuwait pulls out of Gulf Cup hosting

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’s cabinet, hosted by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, have decided the city-state will not host the 2015 edition of the , whilst describing FIFA’s decision of last week to ban the country from all international football citing government interference as “arbitrary and hasty.”

The hosting for Gulf Cup has been an ongoing saga, with Iraq withdrawing (as it has regularly in recent years) and the tournament then being postponed until December 2016 or January 2017, officially for “infrastructural reasons,” before it was again scheduled for December 2015.

At the cabinet meeting where the decision was made, Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah briefed ministers on attempts to forestall an IOC ban, claiming that Kuwaiti sports comply with international criteria and that Kuwaiti sports bodies are “fully independent”. He said the FIFA banning of Kuwait’s national teams and clubs from international competition was “arbitrary and hasty.”

According to the Kuwait News Agency: “The cabinet tasked the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) with taking the proper procedures to counter all forms of deviation in the sport scene and to achieve the aspired reforms in its various institutions in line with directives of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.”

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