OCA elected Sheikh Talal Fahad Al Ahmad Al Sabah as the new President

WSU News: 08-07-2023

The Olympic Council of Asia elected Sheikh Talal Fahad Al Ahmad Al Sabah as the new President at the 42nd OCA General Assembly in Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday, July 8.

Sheikh Talal received 24 of the 44 votes cast, while the OCA Director General, Mr. Husain Al-Musallam, received 20. The simple majority required was 23.

Sheikh Talal, 58, is the son of the first OCA President, Sheikh Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who was President from 1982 to 1990, and the younger brother of the previous OCA President, Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Sabah, who led the organisation from 1991 to 2021.

The former Secretary General of the OCA, Raja Randhir Singh of India, had led the OCA as Acting President since 2021.

Sheikh Talal joined the OCA in 2007. He is Chair of the OCA Rules Committee and a member of the OCA Executive Board.

His election keeps the leadership of the Kuwait-based OCA in the House of the Al Sabah family.

In his 15-minute election presentation, Sheikh Talal’s motto was “One Asia, One Family” and he built his campaign around five main pillars: good governance, financial sustainability, development plan for sports and activities, education programmes and high-quality Asian Games.

His election pledge included an increase in funding for the 45 National Olympic Committees, the five zones in the OCA and for development projects, and he said he was committed to bringing positive change.

“I will follow the lead of my father and brother,” Sheikh Talal told the delegates at the Centara Grand convention centre.

“We have been with Asia for more than 40 years. I promise you I will unite Asia again,” he added.

Captain Husain Al-Musallam, 63, joined the OCA in 1982 in the international relations department and rose to Director General in 2005. He is Secretary General of the Kuwait Olympic Committee and President of World Aquatics.

He based his campaign on putting athletes first, and said the outcome of the election would have a “massive impact” on the future of the OCA and Asian Games. He promised continuity in the work he had established and said the National Olympic Committees needed a President who would listen.