Kuwait opens new stadium despite international bans

Monday, Dec 21, 2015

Kuwait has opened its new state-of-the-art sports stadium weeks after being suspended from multiple international sporting organisations including the Olympics and FIFA.

Former football stars including David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Portugal’s Luis Figo and Brazil’s Ronaldinho and Roberto Carlos played in a friendly match against a Kuwaiti all-stars side to mark the opening of the 60,000-seat stadium on Friday.

The facility was planned to host major international sporting events as well as local competitions but since October Kuwait has been suspended from more than a dozen sports bodies over concerns of government interference.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said last week his organisation remained open to resolving the dispute with the Kuwaiti government but it must change its sporting law, which does not comply with its rules on independence.

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