The IBF has cancelled its Extraordinary General Meeting, leaving the future of the organisation in doubt ©IBF

An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) called by the International Bowling Federation (IBF) after President Sheikh Talal Mohammad Al-Sabah stood down following allegations that he had stolen money from the organisation has been cancelled, insidethegames can reveal.

The cancellation of the EGM, which had been due to take place online on September 30, leaves the organisation facing an even more uncertain future.

The IBF has been bought to the brink of collapse by the scandal with the world governing body leaving its offices in Lausanne and being left with only one staff member after everyone else quit having not been paid since last November.

A planned meeting of the IBF Executive Committee, due to be held in New York City on September 28 and 29, has also been called off after they could not guarantee a quorum.

Mike Seymour, President of the Oceania Bowling Federation, has been forced to deny that he is among officials trying to block the meeting.

"In recent days allegations have been made that I, Oceania President, has purposely stood in the way of the IBF Executive Committees ability to convene a formal meeting and furthermore stood in the way of progress," he said in a statement sent to IBF Member Federations and a copy of which has been obtained by insidethegames.

"I refute these allegations in the strongest manner and call upon Interim IBF President to present true and correct statements to members collectively.

"The IBF Executive Committee is appointed to govern and manage the welfare of the sport and bowlers.

"The personal agenda and objective of the few has been to disrupt and derail any unity of the IBF Executive Committee.

"It would appear that they have succeeded in their divisive game play to harm the sport we love.

"They have damaged the international federation and more importantly they have damaged the bowlers.

"It is time to stop all these personal agendas and place the IBF and bowling at the top of all priorities.

"No individual should ever be bigger than the organisation. I stand by the principles and purpose of a well governed IBF."

The crisis at the IBF is having an effect on the future of the sport, with the bowlers being the most affected, it is claimed ©IBF
The crisis at the IBF is having an effect on the future of the sport, with the bowlers being the most affected, it is claimed ©IBF

A group of dissatisfied countries are now discussing breaking away and forming a rival organisation.

The row has already cost bowling the opportunity to bid for a place on the Olympic programme at Los Angeles 2028.

Top of the agenda at the EGM was due to be a permanent replacement for Sheikh Talal and the election of a new Executive Committee.

Martin Faba, a Costa Rican and head of the Pan American Bowling Federation, has been acting as Interim President since Sheikh Talal stood down.

He has claimed, in correspondence seen by insidethegames, that he does not want to be President.

"I am not comfortable being President, I am pretty sure there is more capable people and will move into the direction that requires IBF in order to become a solid and professional organization, not what is today," he wrote.

"My problem is that I have been here for some time and do know that some of the actual Board members have not done anything in many years, not even being a member of committees or doing something, we need fresh blood."

Sheikh Talal Mohammad Al-Sabah was forced to stand down as IBF President after claims that he had stolen money ©ABF
Sheikh Talal Mohammad Al-Sabah was forced to stand down as IBF President after claims that he had stolen money ©ABF

The crisis was triggered in May when insidethegames revealed that money amounting to more than $10 million (£8.2 million/€9.7 million) was transferred last year from the IBF and Asian Bowling Federation (ABF) to a personal account controlled by Sheikh Talal, a senior member of Kuwait’s ruling royal family.

Sheikh Talal remains a member of the IBF Executive Committee and President of the ABF, despite the serious allegations about him.

He has been trying to gather enough support to stand for the post of President again and it is believed that he retains backing among several countries, particularly in Africa.

All but one of its five full-time staff have left the IBF since the crisis erupted, leaving only chief executive Andrew Oram, who has stayed despite not having been paid for 11 months and who is guaranteeing the IBF's new bank account in Switzerland.

In an effort to try to cut costs, the IBF last month terminated its lease agreement at the Maison du Sport International in Lausanne and is currently looking for more cost-effective office premises in the Olympic Capital.