Lots of Question Going Into FINA Elections, First Vice-President Husain Al Musallam In Corruption Spotlight


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With the FINA election only days aways, a bombshell fell in the election halls of Budapest and officials are trying to defuse it.

Husain Al Musallam, the FINA official who is the First Vice-President of FINA, asked for a 10 percent cut of sponsorship deals arranged by the Olympic Committee of Asia (OCA), according to a joint report from The Times (London), Spiegel Online (Germany) and SwimVortex.

In an audiotape recording of Al Musallam discussing a deal with a Chinese marketing agency on behalf of the OCA, Al Musallam reportedly asked for a 10 percent “commission.” Al Musallam is the Kuwaiti director general of the OCA, but such an arrangement where funds went directly to him and his associates would be considered highly unusual.

On top of that 10 percent commission, he and Chinese agent Ann Yuan Yee agreed that she would receive an eight percent commission and a further one percent would be withheld for running costs.

This is not the first time this year that Al Musallam has been connected to controversy. Back in May, he was connected as a possible co-conspirator in the FIFA corruption scandal, currently under investigation by the FBI in the United States. Al Musallam reportedly bribed an Asian soccer official.

According to SwimVortex, the audio recording that implicated Al Musallam of demanding a commission from this Chinese marketing agency emerged from the FBI investigation into FIFA.

Al Musallam represents Kuwait in his position with FINA, but the Kuwaiti swimming federation is currently under suspension, and many swimming officials in Kuwait have expressed that they do not support Al Musallam. At the same time, FINA and the Asia Swimming Federation, along with other groups, continue their support of Al Musallam.

Swimming World has obtained an exchange of letters over the past three weeks surrounding the legitimacy of Al Musallam’s ability to be elected. FINA supports the eligibility of Al Musalliam’s candadicy while Presidential candidate Paolo Barelli, does not.

Al Musallam is running unopposed to retain his position of First Vice-President, the No. 2 role within FINA. With Julio Maglione favored to retain his position as FINA President, even at the age of 81, Al Musallam would assume acting President duties should Maglione be ill or otherwise incapable of serving.

Read more from The TimesSpiegel Online and SwimVortex.

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