(ATR) Kuwait sports leader Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah will influence the IOC as well as FIFA in the year ahead.
Sheikh Ahmad is number 10 in the Around the Rings Golden 25 for 2016. Now in its 20th year, the survey ranks 25 individuals or events expected to have a major influence on the Olympics in the year ahead.
As the president of the Association of National Olympic Committees, Ahmad serves 206 members that range from tiny islands in the Pacific to the sprawl of Russia or the U.S. In the three years he has led ANOC, Ahmad has added energy to the organization, pushing ANOC towards new events such as beach games and creating a range of commissions to direct the future work of ANOC.
With an easy going manner, the Sheikh has made the relationship between his office and the NOCs less formal and more open. He’s become a beloved figure in the Olympic Movement, invited everywhere and happy to oblige if possible.
Now 55, Ahmad was elected to the IOC in 1993 and can serve another 25 years until retirement, making him a prime candidate to serve as president one day. In addition to his IOC and ANOC posts, the Sheikh has been president of the Olympic Council of Asia since 1991, making him the longest-serving chief of the five continental NOC groups.
In 2015 the Sheikh was elected to the FIFA Executive Committee where he has an opportunity to expand his influence in the international sport arena. In February he and his colleagues will oversee the election of a new president for the scandal ridden federation which will still need massive reform.
Despite his international prestige, Ahmad faces standoffs with the government of Kuwait which has imposed legislation on domestic sports federations and the NOC which has resulted in IOC suspension for the third time in five years. He has a difficult situation, compounded by threats from the government to expel the headquarters of the Olympic Council of Asia from Kuwait and misdemeanor charges levied against the Sheikh by the government for critical comments he made in a TV interview.
2015 ranking: 5
Written by Ed Hula.
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