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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)
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.