A major sports company in Bahrain has discontinued its association with crime boss Daniel Kinahan just a month after naming him as a special advisor.
The short statement is a major setback to Kinahan’s plans to reinvent himself as a sporting expert and businessman.
Just last week he was credited with organising the biggest fight in British boxing between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.
However, the move promoted massive media coverage in Ireland and eventually abroad of his involvement in gangland crime.
The Criminal Assets Bureau has said Kinahan "controlled and managed" the operations of an organisation that smuggles drugs and guns into Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe and "has associations that facilitate international criminal activity in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America".
In their statement today, KHK Sports said it is “dedicated to the development of sports from the grass-roots level”.
“KHK Sports confirms that it has discontinued engagement with Daniel Kinahan and he is no longer an adviser to KHK Sports.
“KHK Sports is known for its contribution to the sports industry and is renowned and well respected for its integrity and deep-rooted principles in the sports industry,” the statement said.
The authenticity of the statement has been verified by independent.ie
It was issued by the head of international media relations in Bahrain, which usually handles government communications. KHK Sports reached out to the agency to get help communicating its message.
“We are independent of KHK but often even non-governmental organisations ask for our support in communications,” he said.
“We are circulating the statement on behalf of KHK,” he added.
Only last month the KHK website featured the announcement of Kinahan as advisor.
“Mr. Kinahan has been involved in the world of combat sports, at the highest levels, since his earlier days as one of the original founders of MTK Global before branching away and advising some of the biggest names and organizations in the industry for over a decade and has been instrumental in securing some of the biggest global events in the sport. As advisor for Top Rank in the MENA region, his expertise and connections will strengthen the KHK Sports brand and immediately expand its international reach,” it said.
“In this significant move, Mr. Kinahan’s role will advise across KHK Sports entire portfolio, encompassing KHK MMA, KHK Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Promotion and BRAVE Combat Federation,” it added.
“KHK Sports focuses on developing the national sports economy in nineteen nations, bringing together the FDI, trade relationships and tourism exposure through sports, and is known for developing sports business, primarily in combat sports. KHK Sports holds international world events and owns the largest sports media property in the Middle East,” it said.
“Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa Sports (KHK Sports) is a vision of His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, First Deputy President of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, President of the Bahrain Olympic Committee and Founder of BRAVE Combat Federation,” it explained.
“KHK Sports supports local and international athletes, advances and develops mixed martial arts in Bahrain at all levels, including establishing a national team and alongside bringing in global talent and events to the and also encourages the youth of Bahrain to engage and compete in sports,” it added.
“His Highness recognizes the importance of sporting events in promoting the Kingdom of Bahrain globally and enhancing the Kingdom’s tourism industry and the economy. His Highness appreciates the tremendous value Mr. Kinahan will lend to the organization,” the statement had said, adding a quote from His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
“Sports plays a major part in shaping our youth and defining the future of the world. With an infrastructure that can evolve, the sports provide opportunity, regardless or race, religion or even marketability; and simply based on talent and becoming a global project for uniting the world. It is about hope and belief that the impossible does not exist. This will be our vision for KHK sports to achieve and with a great team we can,” it said.
In the statement Daniel Kinahan was quoted as saying: “It is an honour for me to work with His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Mr. Mohammed Shahid and the entire the team at KHK Sports. KHK Sports has made an impressive mark on the world of combat sports and has fantastic ambitions to grow into a global powerhouse.”
“I look forward to working with the team to realise these dreams and further build Bahrain combat sports into a globally recognized presence. We will create opportunities for Bahraini fighters on the international stage whilst attracting the biggest names in the sport to the Kingdom,” he added.