Manama: Kuwaiti newspapers have attributed the appointment of a new editor-in-chief of the Qatari Arabic daily Al Watan to the sacking of the former chief in the wake of a bitter dispute with Kuwait’s high-profile sports figure Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah.
Al Watan on Wednesday said that Mohammad Hamad Al Merri replaced Ahmad Al Sulaiti as its editor in chief.
The daily, in a brief statement on the front page, said that Al Sulaiti had resigned but did elaborate on the reasons.
However, reports in Kuwait have claimed that Shaikh Hamad Bin Sahim Al Thani, the chairman of the board of Al Watan Publishing and Distribution, replaced Al Sulaiti after he became engaged in an open media dispute with Shaikh Ahmad, Chairman of the Kuwaiti Olympic Committee and President of the Olympic Council of Asia, over the status of former Asian Football Federation chief Mohammad Bin Hammam, a Qatari national who chaired the Asian Football Confederation from 2002 to 2011.
Shaikh Ahmad and Bin Hammam had been locked in an open dispute for months, but the issue took an unexpected twist this week when Al Sulaiti, a fervent defender of his fellow countryman, accused the Kuwaiti sports figure of being “politically and athletically corrupt”, Kuwaiti daily Al Rai reported.
However, Al Sulaiti denied the reports about his sacking, insisting that he had resigned and pledged to continue his sparring with Shaikh Ahmad.
“To clarify things: I have resigned for personal, professional reasons and not because of my statement against Ahmad Al Fahad, as is being claimed,” he posted on his Twitter account. “For your information, my round with Bu Fahad is not over yet.”
Al Sulaiti had often used his Twitter account to comment on political and social developments in Kuwait.
Al Watan is one of the four Arabic and three English dailies published in Qatar.