Veteran Indian sports administrator Raja Randhir Singh yesterday took over as head of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) after its Kuwaiti former leader was sentenced to jail in a forgery case.
Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad Al Sabah, a member of Kuwait’s ruling family, stepped aside as Asia’s top sports official after the Geneva court on Friday found him guilty over a plot against political rivals in the Gulf state.
Singh, 74, said in a statement that he was taking over as interim president as the longest-serving member of the OCA executive.
Taiwan’s national Olympic committee is a member of the OCA.
“I have every confidence that Sheikh Ahmad will be successful in his appeal,” Singh said, adding that he would seek “to ensure the continued smooth running of the organization in the critical period ahead.”
Asia would host the 2022 Winter Olympics in China in February and has just started the one-year countdown to the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
Singh, a former Olympic shooter, was a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive until 2015, and helped bring events such as the 2010 Commonwealth Games to India.
Sheikh Ahmad had been one of the most powerful sports bosses in the world until his court troubles erupted.
He, his English former lawyer, a Kuwaiti aide and two more lawyers based in Geneva in 2014 were convicted on forgery charges linked to orchestrating a sham arbitration case in Geneva.
The sheikh was sentenced to almost 14 months’ jail time with a further 15 months suspended in a case that has put much of his Olympic work on hold for almost three years.
“I know I didn’t do anything. I will wait for the appeal [and] my rights,” Sheikh Ahmad said as he walked away from court with his lawyers, adding that he would return to Geneva to challenge his conviction. “I will never stop because I believe I am innocent.”
The panel of three judges found that the five men took part in a staged legal dispute and arbitration hearing to gain a favorable ruling. It sought to authenticate video footage that would show two Kuwaiti politicians — including a former prime minister — discussing a possible coup in the oil-rich kingdom.
Sheikh Ahmad supported the false arbitration and was its sole beneficiary, presiding judge Delphine Gonseth said.
His sentence was more severe than the public prosecutor had requested — just six months’ jail time with a further two years suspended.
Starting in 1991, he led the OCA, established by his father in 1982. In 1992, Sheikh Ahmad joined the IOC, whose members elect host cities.
His influence grew in 2012 when he was elected president of Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), a global group of 206 national Olympic committees. He also chaired an IOC panel that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars to Olympic athletes and teams.
He was a strong supporter in the 2013 election of current IOC president Thomas Bach.
The sheikh stepped aside — “temporarily self-suspended” in the Olympic phrase — from the IOC and ANOC after being indicted by Geneva prosecutors in November 2018.
The IOC on Friday said that the “court decision is now being reviewed by the IOC chief ethics and compliance officer.”
Sheikh Ahmad was also an executive committee member at FIFA for two years, but resigned in 2017 after being implicated by US federal prosecutors in bribing Asian soccer officials.
Jorge Fernandez was not going to attend his daughter Leylah’s all-teen US Open final showdown yesterday with Britain’s Emma Raducanu over fears about messing with routines that are working. Jorge Fernandez, a former soccer player from Ecuador who became a tennis coach for his daughter, was to watch from home in Florida — as he has for two weeks — when 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez was to meet 18-year-old qualifier Raducanu for the title. “No, I’m not going to be there,” Jorge Fernandez told US Open reporters on a conference call. “I’m extremely superstitious. My daughter is as well. I’ve been using the
REVENUE SHARING: The US Soccer Federation said it believes that the best path forward for the men’s and women’s national soccer teams is a single pay structure The US Soccer Federation (USSF) on Tuesday said that it has offered “identical” contracts to its men’s and women’s national teams as part of efforts to end a long-running gender pay dispute. A statement from the USSF said that the proposed contracts had been sent to the players’ associations acting on behalf of the US men’s national team (USMNT) and US women’s national team (USWNT), with the goal being to bring the national squads under a single collective bargaining agreement (CBA). “US Soccer firmly believes that the best path forward for all involved, and for the future of the sport in the
POWERFUL FIGURE: Sheikh Ahmad led the OCA from 1991 to Friday, and was also an influential member of the IOC until 2018 and other sports bodies, including FIFA Veteran Indian sports administrator Raja Randhir Singh yesterday took over as head of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) after its Kuwaiti former leader was sentenced to jail in a forgery case. Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad Al Sabah, a member of Kuwait’s ruling family, stepped aside as Asia’s top sports official after the Geneva court on Friday found him guilty over a plot against political rivals in the Gulf state. Singh, 74, said in a statement that he was taking over as interim president as the longest-serving member of the OCA executive. Taiwan’s national Olympic committee is a member of the OCA. “I have every
Making money in boxing means never having to say: “Sorry.” Not for allowing Evander Holyfield to risk his life at the age of 58 just to make a few bucks. Certainly not for stealing money from gullible fans for a farce of a pay-per-view show that would have done terrible damage to the sport if only the sport was not so badly damaged already. No one was apologizing — at least not loud enough to hear — among the crew at the Triller Fight Club, a fledging promotional outfit on the fringe of boxing. They managed to get Holyfield licensed in Florida and