Alsahwa Net- The Houthis militia have expanded intimidation and damaging acts to include the sport and the youth facilities in Sana’a and other Yemeni cities under their control.
Sources quoted by the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat daily Newspaper said that the Houthis apply their tampering and destructive approach in the management of the public departments on the sport facilities in areas of their control.
The intimidation against public sport facilities led to the shutdown of 32 sport federations.
The sources said that the Houthis changed headquarters of 25 sport federation into places of social gathering, stores, cafe and places of sectarian indoctrination and military recruitment centers.
As a result, discontent among the youth and sport federation users has been increasing since sport activities and events have been suspended for years, the sources said.
They added that the Houthis did not stop at this bad management of the sport sector but extended to the looting of public funds allocated for the sport.
Such actions led eventually around 94 percent of the athletes to stop doing any sport activities including group-games or individual gym.
The sources said that the ceasing of the sport activities was taken by the Houthis leaders to attract the athletes to join their forces
Athletes’ participation in foreign sport events has been decreased by 95 percent which led to significant dropout among athletes who had to switch from the sport to working in other professions.
Administrative workers at one sport office of the Houthis-run Sport Ministry said that over 90 sport facilities in the Houthis-held areas have been shut down.
Sana’a came on top of the Houthis-held cities in terms of number of shut sport facilities, followed by Hodeida, Ibb, Taiz, Amran, Hajja, Dhamar and Sa’ada.
The Houthis have even diverging money of the young and Sport Fund to their own spending.
The Houthis leaders spent about YR14.6 billion ($24.3 million) during the past three years on activities out of the sport frame.
Yearly revenues of the Young and Sport Fund exceeds around YR billion ($10 million)
Sources of the fund’s income come mainly from private fees on domestically produced and imported cigarettes, domestically produced and imported cement, tax on qat and other local resources.
Government officials stated earlier that the Houthis damaged over 70 percent of the sport facilities.
The Minister of Youth and Sport, Nayef Al-Bakri warned last April against Houthis’ attacks against the sport facilities and lands that belong to the sport clubs.
Al-Bakri then said that any action against the properties that belong the sport ministry or sport federations is deemed illegal.
This warning followed then media reports spoke about Houthis’ confiscation of a land which belongs to the Sport Generation Youth Club in Hodeida