FINA will hold its 2021 global congress this Saturday, June 5, with 189 delegates from 119 national federations appearing in person in Doha, Qatar for the event. An additional 202 delegates from 102 national federations will attend the meet online, with some federations attending both in-person and online.
In addition to the usual bureaucracy of discussing organization finances and potential rules changes, the event will elect several new positions, including a new FINA President and Five FINA Vice-Presidents.
Only one candidate has come forward for the presidency so far: Husain Al-Musallam of Kuwait, a country that was not allowed to fly its flag at the 2016 Summer Olympics and that has never had a swimmer final at either an Olympic Games or World Championships. The country didn’t enter athletes in any other aquatic disciplines at any recent Olympic Games, though they did send divers to the 2019 World Championships.
Al-Musallam’s seemingly-inevitable appointment to the post to succeed outgoing 84-year old Julio Maglione is controversial. That’s both because of the four-year ban of his Olympic Committee by the IOC because of government meddling in Olympic sport, and because of an attempt in 2017 by the Kuwait Swimming Association to remove Al-Musallam from the FINA Bureau when new internal leadership was chosen. In spite of the objection from his own federation, he was elected First Vice President of FINA in 2017.
A recording was released in 2017 by The Times that purported to be him asking for a 10 percent commission on a sponsorship agreement for the Olympic Committee of Asia. He has also been named as a possible co-conspirator in the FIFA corruption scandal in soccer that was investigated by the FBI in the United States.
A public relations firm reached out to SwimSwam on behalf of Al-Musallam last week, presenting a video that was purported to include his “manigesto” of “transparency, equality and unity in FINA Presidential election,” but the actual video did not present any real information, commitments, or plans, nor really even bring up specifically any of the above-mentioned ideas.
When SwimSwam responded requesting an interview with Al-Musallam, the message was not responded to.
Elections Scheduled for FINA Bureau Meeting
- FINA President
- FINA Bureau Members
- Five FINA Vice-Presidents
- First Vice President & Second Vice President
- FINA Treasurer
- Honorary positions (if applicable)
2. Election of FINA Ethics Panel
3.Election of FINA Audit Committee Members