MUSCAT: World Aquatics (FINA) President Husain Al Musallam is under spotlight after allegations surfaced that there has been millions of dollars embezzled during his tenure as chief of Asian Aquatics (formerly Asian Amateur Swimming Federation).
The shocking revelation was made in a letter last week, addressed to current Asia Aquatics president Sheikh Khalid Badar Al Sabah, by the secretary general of the continental federation Taha Al Kishry from Oman.
In the letter, which Times of Oman has seen, Al Kishry, who is also the Oman Olympic Committee (OOC) secretary general, said that “millions of dollars are missing from the accounting books of Asia Aquatics”.
Al Kishry said: “The support funds were released by the Public Authority for Sport in Kuwait for Asia Aquatics and amounted to USD 1mn per year from 2016-19. They have gone missing during the presidency of the current World Aquatics chief.”
‘Clarity on matter important’
He added: “Clarity on this matter is of prime importance for maintaining the integrity and well-being of our esteemed federation.”
Al Kishry has made a request to the Asia Aquatics President Al Sabah to address the matter during the upcoming Asia Aquatics Congress in Doha, Qatar, on February 12 and the letter alleging misappropriation of the funds have been sent to all 45 member nations of the continental federation.
Meanwhile, Al Musallam has also been referred to the Kuwait Ethics Commission by the Kuwait Olympic Committee (KOC) President Sheikh Fahad Al Sabah.
The KOC chief has also written to the Kuwait Minister of State for Youth Affairs, to refer the matter of Al Musallam to Public Prosecution and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) in public interest following a disclosure that a company owned by a close relative of his was awarded contract during the third Gulf Games in Kuwait in May 2022.
The latest charges surfaced soon after the Aquatics Integrity Unity on January 30, 2024, suspended Al Kishry, a senior sports administrator and World Aquatics Bureau member, for 18 months on charges of violations of World Aquatics Integrity Code articles 5 and 9.
The suspension precludes him from taking part in any Aquatic-related activities on behalf of World Aquatics, Asia Aquatics, Arab Aquatics, Oman Aquatics and any other World Aquatics continental organisation, member and recognised body.
Soon after, Al Kishry approached Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) and in a press statement vehemently denied the “false” charges against him and termed them “unjust, malicious and arbitrary”.