Kuwait football chief welcomes FIFA reentry process

FIFA president Gianni Infantino (C) attends a tour of the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium in Kuwait City on December 6, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 20 January 2018
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Kuwait football chief welcomes FIFA reentry process

KUWAIT CITY: The newly-elected head of the Kuwait Football Association has welcomed the appointment of a FIFA “normalization” comittee to oversee the county’s re-entry into the global body — after a 2015 suspension.
“Kuwaitis were very happy when the ban was lifted,” said KFA chief Ahmad Al-Yousuf Al-Sabah on Saturday.
“The general asssembly (of local clubs) chose us ... but as I’ve previously mentioned, we are willing to sacrifice ourselves for the ban not to be imposed again,” Sabah said — appearing to raise the possibility of his own resignation if required by the oversight committee.
The appointment of the normalization committee, announced Friday, follows the lifting of Kuwait’s suspension for political meddling in the sport on December 5.
The committee mandate, according to a FIFA statement, is “to run the KFA’s daily affairs; to review the KFA statutes and ensure their compliance... [and] to organize and conduct elections of a new KFA board of directors on the basis of the new, revised KFA statutes, which should take place no later than 20 May 2018.”
World sports bodies led by FIFA and the International Olympic Committee suspended Kuwait in October 2015 for the second time since 2010 over alleged government meddling in sport.
The suspensions meant Kuwait missed out on the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup and the 2019 Asian Cup, and before that the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
In early December, the Kuwaiti parliament passed a new law in line with FIFA’s requirements.


Chief of Qatar-owned PSG dispels Gianluigi Buffon transfer rumors

Updated 20 May 2018
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Chief of Qatar-owned PSG dispels Gianluigi Buffon transfer rumors

  • Italy legend has been linked with a move to France
  • But president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has faith in No. 1 Alphonse Areola

PARIS: Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has poured water on suggestions Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon could step in to replace the French club’s No. 1 goalkeeper, Alphonse Areola.
Buffon, 40, played his final game for the Italian giants in a 2-1 win over Verona on Saturday, capping a 17-year career in Turin that harvested seven consecutive Serie A titles.
Buffon’s contract will expire in a matter of weeks, but asked if the French capital could be the emblematic Italian’s next destination, Al-Khelaifi told L’Equipe sports daily on Sunday: “We have Areola, he’s our number one.”
When then asked if that would also be the case next season, Al-Khelaifi replied: “Yes, for sure.”
He added: “He (Buffon) is a fantastic goalkeeper, he’s very charismatic and is a true gentleman. I’m sure all the clubs want him.”
Areola underlined his feelings about the situation when he told Le Parisien newspaper Saturday he wanted to “remain number one” at PSG and would leave the club if that were not to be the case next season.
“Because if I’m not the number one anymore, it would mean the season I’ve just finished has all counted for nothing,” said the 25-year-old Areola, whose own deal ends in June 2019.
PSG, who regained the French league title this month, will be taken over by coach Thomas Tuchel next season. He succeeds Spaniard Unai Emery.