Husain Al-Musallam Confirmed As Asia’s First-Ever Nominee For FINA President

The nomination of Husain Al-Musallam as FINA President was confirmed in an Asian Swimming Federation press release Saturday, as the Kuwaiti received a unanimous backing from the AASF at its General Congress in Muscat, Oman.

In September, Al-Musallam’s bid officially received support from Kuwait’s government, which was significant after years of controversy that included the Kuwait Olympic Committee (KOC) getting banned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 2015-2019. This was due to laws passed by Kuwait’s government that allowed elected officials to meddle with or dissolve sports leagues or teams that it had ideological issues with.

This historically the first time Asia has nominated someone for FINA president.

In his acceptance speech, the 60-year-old took the time to reflect on the significance of the moment.

“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 ever 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 journey together.”

-Husain Al-Musallam

Al-Musallam is the front-runner to replace 84-year-old FINA President Julio Maglione, who has held the post since 2009.

“This unity has never been more important than it is today,” Al-Musallam said of his unanimous backing. “We all know 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.”

In 2017, Al-Musallam was under investigation for his involvement in a FIFA bribery ring, and was recorded demanding a commission of a FINA sponsorship. Despite this, he was elected FINA’s First Vice President.

A national-level swimmer for Kuwait in the 1970s, Al-Musallam first joined the FINA Bureau in 1996.

The FINA elections will take place in Doha, Qatar on June 5, 2021.

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STRAIGHTBLACKLINE
2 years ago

Why do compromised non-entities like this guy end up holding key positions in FINA? The true stakeholders in the sport need to take control, but sadly, I don’t see it happening any time soon.

torchbearer
2 years ago

Wow- from Algeria to Uruguay to Kuwait….the FINA Presidency is a joke…

MarkB
2 years ago

Well, at least FINA is keeping the money train moving – they won’t have to teach this guy how to take bribes or payouts, just not to make them on official tapes of meetings!!

Gator
2 years ago

Is there a swimming pool in Kuwait?

Scoobysnak
Reply to  Gator
2 years ago

Yes

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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