The nomination of Husain Al-Musallam of Kuwait as FINA President has been confirmed after he received the unanimous backing of the Asian Swimming Federation at its General Congress in Muscat today.
It is the first time that Asia has nominated a candidate for this important position. Husain Al Musallam acknowledged this in a speech thanking his colleagues for their support.
"In 1908 George Hearn of Great Britain became the first President of FINA. It was a position that he held until 1924. Since then there have been a further 16 Presidents of this great International federation. They have come from every corner of the world. Well, almost every corner of the world. Not this one. There has never been a President from Asia. In fact, there has never even been a Presidential candidate from Asia. The action that you have taken today has already made history, and, my friends, this is just the beginning of our next journey together."
The General Congress of the Asian Swimming Federation heard from Sheikh Abdulwahab Al Hanai, the Secretary General of its Ethics Committee, who announced that all of Asia's candidates had been cleared to participate in next year's elections. Following this, the members were asked to vote, and they gave their unanimous backing to the Ethics Committee's decision. Then, in a further vote, the members gave a unanimous show of support to Husain Al-Musallam's candidacy.
Husain Al-Musallam said "This unity has never been more important than it is today. We all work so much better when we do so as a team.... I must be honest with you. We all know that there are tough times ahead. The global pandemic places fresh difficulties on us every day. I have no magic wand. There are no easy solutions, but I can promise you this. Nobody will work harder than me to make sure that FINA emerges from this crisis stronger than ever."
Husain Al-Musallam competed for Kuwait as a swimmer. He took part in the all Pan-Arab, Asian and World Championships between 1974 and 1976. He joined the FINA Bureau for the first time in 1996. He is currently the First Vice-President, having served as Vice-President for many years.
The FINA elections will take place in Doha, Qatar on June 5th 2021.
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