Kuwait has filed a lawsuit against the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Switzerland for more than $1bn in damages over the suspension of the Arab nation's Olympic committee. 

The dispute comes after the IOC and world football governing body, FIFA, suspended Kuwait in October on grounds of government interference in sports.

"It is totally unacceptable that Kuwait is treated in this unfair way and barred from international sports activities without any appropriate probe being conducted," said Information Minister Sheikh Salman al-Homoud Al Sabah in comments published on Thursday by the state-run Kuwait News Agency.

"From the very beginning Kuwait did its utmost to prevent the IOC suspension and showed a sincere desire to cooperate, but all to no avail.

"We sent a UN-sponsored delegation to Geneva to explain to the sports body that the Kuwaiti government by no means intervenes in sports activities." 

The minister said the government had filed a lawsuit in a Swiss court against 14 board members of the IOC and is seeking $1.3bn in damages.

The suspension could bar Kuwaiti athletes from representing their country at this summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Earlier this month, the IOC's executive board authorised individual Kuwaiti athletes to compete under the Olympic flag if they qualify. 

Source: Agencies