Kuwaiti sports authority calls for criminal investigation into Al-Musallam. GETTY IMAGES

Husain Al-Musallam, president of World Aquatics, may have awarded a multi-million dollar contract to a company owned by his wife and children. Kuwait's sports authority has referred the case over to the public prosecutor. This comes after the facts that Insidethegames revealed last week.

World Aquatics will probably have to look for a new president. Unless the Aquatics Integrity Unit, founded by Husain Al-Musallam, or the International Olympic Committee and the Ethics Commission of the Olympic Council of Asia (handpicked and controlled by Al-Musallam), are able to save him. 

Al-Musallam still feels reasonably safe in Doha at the World Aquatics Championships, although he has since travelled to Kuwait to attend to urgent matters. Things are getting troublesome for the alleged multiple offender, bribe-payer and number three co-conspirator in a global criminal case. It is no coincidence that on the sidelines of the World Cup in Doha, Al-Musallam also met with representatives of his new adopted country, Hungary. He even met Hungary's President Katalin Novák, who has since resigned over a sexual abuse pardon. 

Al-Musallam wants to move World Aquatics to Budapest by 2027. It has long been rumoured in the Olympic industry that he has already acquired a Hungarian passport and at least one property there. Many have speculated as to the source of the money used to pay for it and whether the money comes from sports organisations for which Husain Al-Musallam is responsible or even from more illicit sources..

The Hungarian President Katalin Novák. GETTY IMAGES
The Hungarian President Katalin Novák. GETTY IMAGES

Another questionable event took place on the sidelines of the World Aquatics Championships in Doha: the extraordinary Asian Aquatics Congress, which also dealt with the apparent missing millions.

THE INQUISITOR has obtained video footage of this turbulent meeting in which Al-Musallam attempted to take control and play down the issue of the missing millions. Several rules appear to have been broken at this congress, including a bizarre express election of the leadership of Asia Aquatics, which went in favour of him and his accomplices. We have new documents, but for now let's focus on the potential criminal case. 

As THE INQUISITOR detailed last week, Husain Al-Musallam is suspected of a criminal offence, this time in his capacity as Director General of the Kuwait Olympic Committee (KOC). The amount involved is KWD 3,424,500  (around €10.4 million). Husain Al-Musallam has been linked to a series of suspicious deals. The Kuwaiti, who was exposed in the FIFA criminal case as a bribe-payer and confidant of convicted Olympic sheikh Al-Sabah, has once again been accused of shady dealings. 

Al-Musallam is alleged to have awarded part of the state funding for the third Gulf Games in December 2021 to Dynamic General Trading & Contracting, a company owned by his wife, sons and daughters. Another document mentions a company called Dynamic General Trading Import and Export is mentioned. There may be two companies. In a letter dated 13 February 2024, the authorities referred the case to the General Public Prosecutor Office(Source: Ahmad Alsalami on X). Al-Musallam denied any wrongdoing to THE INQUISITOR last week and submitted a letter from the ethics committee of the KOC, which he controls, that supposedly exonerates him. The authenticity of the letter is unclear.

The state sports authority believes the facts are clear enough to open a criminal case. 

Al-Musallam, happy with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. INSTAGRAM
Al-Musallam, happy with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. INSTAGRAM

In the first weeks of February alone, Al-Musallam has been: 

• The subject of a complaint that led KOC investigators to alert the head of the NOC to an alleged association with an Olympics-related company.

• Been referred to the KOC's Ethics Commission.

• Named in a letter to a state minister suggesting an investigation by prosecutors and anti-corruption authorities.

• Forced to deny the allegations, which he told THE INQUISITOR were the result of political intrigue in Kuwait.

• Apparently cleared by the Ethics Commission the day before its organisation's president informed the Kuwaiti government that Al-Musallam had been referred to the committee for investigation

• Alerted by allegations that millions of Kuwaiti public funds allocated to Asia Aquatics had gone missing.

• Referred to the Public Prosecutor by the sports authority

• At the centre of a highly controversial Asia Aquatics Congress. 

There are other questions that urgently need to be answered:

• Has Al-Musallam falsified documents on several occasions?

• Why were confidential conversations within the framework of the OCA secretly recorded? To blackmail his interlocutors?

• Why is he still allowed to hold many high-level positions when there is ample evidence and confessions that he has paid bribes and misused OCA funds?

Husain Al-Musallam is in serious trouble. GETTY IMAGES
Husain Al-Musallam is in serious trouble. GETTY IMAGES

Payments "in advance" for years 2024 and 2025

There have long been serious indications that Al-Musallam has been embezzling funds from the Olympic Council of Asia. More recently, however, there have been indications that Al-Musallam has also made princely payments to his family from OCA accounts. The first documents on this have now emerged and can be presented.

This is not just expensive luxury goods like watches and holidays, but apartments, apparently owned by the Al-Musallam family, that were rented out to OCA at high prices. Apparently, in 2023, payments for the years 2024 and 2025 had already been made from the OCA accounts … "in advance, for the years 2024 + 2025". Numerous other documents will be discussed in the near future.

The Al-Musallam system, the Sheikh Ahmad system 

In July 2017, according to The Times and Der Spiegel, Al-Musallam was paying bribes from the OCA's accounts for machinations in FIFA.

Richard Lai provided votes and collected information for Sheikh Ahmad and Al-Musallam in FIFA elections and the elections of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and he was paid handsomely for this. On 16 January 2012, he wrote an email to Husain Al-Musallam, the "dear captain", referring to a phone call two days earlier and requesting the transfer of $250,000 to HSBC Bank in Hong Kong. A quarter of a million was to be used for "investigations", which Lai did not specify.

Al-Musallam's version is unlikely to convince anyone. GETTY IMAGES
Al-Musallam's version is unlikely to convince anyone. GETTY IMAGES

Al-Musallam had already provided Lai's account details to OCA CFO Nayaf Sraj. According to the US indictment, the money was received into HSBC account 198-362675-833 in Hong Kong in two tranches of $125,000 each - on 17 January and 14 February. These payments were made over a period of several years. Lai has admitted that he used the money only for himself and never to promote the sport in his native Guam. The court document also states that he and his Kuwaiti partners didn't even bother to try to hide the reasons for the payments". 

A simple email request to Husain Al-Musallam was enough - and the money was transferred. Al-Musallam, however, made a point of sending emails so that he would have something to show his boss, Sheikh Ahmad. This is how the US justice system describes it. Al-Musallam is even said to have brought a suitcase full of money to one meeting, Lai claimed during his interrogation. Al-Musallam did not answer detailed questions about this at the time. As this was all backed up by documents and confessions. Source: DOJ indictment. 

When we confronted Al-Musallam with the new allegations from Kuwait last week, he explained what he had been saying all along:

"These are all politically motivated accusations… There is still a small group  of people in Kuwait who want to damage my reputation for political reasons... The allegations are baseless… I am delighted that my name has been cleared. I urge all those involved in sport in Kuwait to work together for the betterment of our athletes instead of wasting time on baseless, politically motivated allegations." 

Sheikh Ahmad and Al-Musallam and Husain Al-Musallam. GETTY IMAGES
Sheikh Ahmad and Al-Musallam and Husain Al-Musallam. GETTY IMAGES

One of the key questions in this whole gigantic system of corruption in the realm of the OCA, the many Asian continental federations and numerous world federations in which Sheikh Ahmad and Al-Musallam (and his predecessor as OCA Director General, who was suspended by the IOC in 2004 for corruption) deal with votes: 

How many people like Richard Lai (who has fully confessed) could have been bribed over decades? How many sports officials have received such bribes, usually disguised as "commissions", "project funding" or "development aid"? 

As ANOC President, Sheikh Ahmad was responsible for more than $100 million distributed annually as part of the IOC's Olympic Solidarity Programme. He served as President of the OCA for more than 30 years, succeeding his father who founded the organisation. 

Husain Al-Musallam has worked for the OCA since 1985. Since 1998, and later also at ANOC, he has been part of AlSabah's inner leading circle. Since 1998, Al-Musallam has been deputy director general and technical director of the OCA. When OCA Director General Ahmad Al-Mutallab was declared persona non grata by the IOC for corruption in 2004, Al-Musallam soon took over his position. 

Another photo of Sheikh Ahmad and Al-Musallam and Husain Al-Musallam. GETTY IMAGES
Another photo of Sheikh Ahmad and Al-Musallam and Husain Al-Musallam. GETTY IMAGES

In 2015, Al-Musallam became Vice President of World Aquatics (then known as FINA), where he had previously served on the board for many years. The then president Julio César Maglione (Uruguay) was one of Sheikh Al-Sabah's many high-ranking puppets in the Olympic world. Al-Sabah was really in charge of FINA.

Tricks and rule changes were used to prepare the ground for Al-Musallam's presidency - always with the help of long-time IOC member and current IOC honorary member Sam Ramsamy (South Africa). Ramsamy has long been Vice President of World Aquatics for an eternity and is one of IOC President Thomas Bach's closest confidants. In 2021, just before Sheikh Ahmad was sentenced to prison in Switzerland, Husain Al-Musallam, co-conspirator number 3, became president of World Aquatics. There are also serious controversies about his election campaign and the legitimacy of his candidacy. The man against whom there was so much evidence and allegations of widespread corruption has since sold himself as a reformer ever since. 

He set up the Aquatics Integrity Unit (AQIU) and he fell out not only with Sheikh Ahmad, but also with many allies of the Sheikh's former core team in the OCA. IOC membership was always a goal. Swimming presidents such as Moustapha Larfaoui (Algeria) and Maglione held ex-officio membership of the IOC for decades, linked to the length of their tenure in what was then FINA.