Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) chief Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Sabah and Lebanese sports minister Faisal Karami
Sheikh Ahmad hails achievements of Asian sports body
21 Oct 2013
Beirut, Lebanon: Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) chief Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Sabah hailed the achievements made by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), he also heads, at the conclusion of a visit to Lebanon aimed at discussing the country's international sports prospects.
The senior Kuwaiti sports figure made the comments during a press briefing at Beirut's Rafiq Hariri International Airport upon his departure after earlier being bestowed Lebanon's highest honour by President Michel Suleiman and after discussing sports and diplomatic issues with several officials during his two-day stay.
Asia's official sports body has "achieved unique leaps that other continents have borne witness to," he said, adding that it comes "second to the International Olympic Committee in terms of accomplishments." A new strategy has been created aimed at improving the OCA's media and marketing roles in cooperation with many international TV organisations and news agencies, he said.
Financial revenue achieved by the OCA surged by 300 percent, he stated, while huge accomplishments have been made on the technical and production levels.
"Sports are all about industry and marketing," he said, while noting that the OCA's successes were attributed to a "joint working team which had faith in general principles that are working in an organized manner." On his visit, he expressed satisfaction on its results in supporting the Lebanese sports movement, along with bilateral relations with Kuwait.
At the top of matters he had discussed with officials was the country's sports issue - whereby he took time to commend the country's sports minister Faisal Karami on his efforts to avoid a ban by international footballing body, FIFA, on Lebanon's participation at international events.
On this, he noted Lebanon's difficulties at such a critical stage in issuing new legislation, expressing hope it will be able to "adopt laws that are in line with the Olympic Charter." His talks with Lebanese officials had highlighted what was needed to be done in the coming future in order to avoid such a ban, he said.
"We must support Lebanon in order for its seat (at international venues) to remain and for its flag to continue being hoisted," he underlined.
He thanked the president for granting him the National Order of the Cedar by rank of officer, and both the Lebanese Olympic Committee and the Lebanese Football Association for their commitment and cooperation on the matters discussed.
Separately, he expressed hope the OCA would succeed in being able to amend dates of events so that they may not to be held during the last 10 days of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan or the first days of the festive Eid occasion - due to the effects these days may have on player performance and spectator turnout.
For his part, Lebanese sports minister Faisal Karami commended Kuwait's stance in support of Lebanon and hailing the visit made by Sheikh Ahmad.
Of these stances, he mentioned development projects assumed by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), material and moral support during the Israeli 2006 attack on Lebanon and Kuwaiti assistance provided to Syrian refugees residing in Lebanon