Image Credit: Gulf News

Manama: Kuwaiti media criticised the participation of three Kuwaiti athletes in an international track meet where Israelis also participated.

"The participation of the Kuwaiti runners is a blatant violation of the rules that ban Kuwaitis from competing or taking part in individual events where Israelis are also present," Al Shahed newspaper said. "Kuwait has invariably pulled out of competitions in which Israelis are taking part."

The three runners failed to make it to the top 110 ranking in the 38th IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Poland.

Abdullah Al Mutairi was 111th while Abdullah Al Qabandi was 117th followed by Abdullah Rabi'a at 118th in the competition dominated by Kenya in the medals chart, Annahar daily said.

Some local journalists said that the head of the Kuwaiti delegation should have pulled out the players after learning about the participation of Israeli athletes.

"What is really shocking is that all this happened at the time when Arab leaders at their annual summit were discussing ways to deal with the Israeli behaviour," Mustafa Juma'a said.

However, several Kuwaitis disagreed with media's condemnation of the runners and of the officials, saying that the Israeli participation "should not be seen as a problem."


"Does this mean that Kuwaiti athletes cannot take part in any competition if Israelis are in it as well? This is ridiculous because it means the end of our sports ambitions," Mohammad wrote in the comments section of Al Rai.

A blogger named Q8 said: "Let us suppose that the Kuwaitis pulled out, will this mean that Israel is suffering? Who would be the loser? We have to be more realistic."