Published: Fri, November 16, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

International Olympic Committee pressures Spain over Kosovo athletes

International Olympic Committee pressures Spain over Kosovo athletes

Earlier this year, Spain was stripped of the right to host the 2018 European junior weightlifting championships over the country's insistence on not recognizing Kosovo as an independent state.

The hosting of the 2018 Women's World Championships was supposed to be stepping stone of sorts for India after the Under-17 World Cup and before the FIH Hockey World Cup in Odisha.

The IOA chief, who is also the president of International Hockey Federation, said that non-granting of visa to the lone Kosovo boxer could lead to the IOC asking all the international federation not to award major events to India.

IOC NewsThe International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) wish to publicly express their deepest satisfaction with the decision taken today by the Spanish Government regarding the participation of Kosovan athletes in international competitions to be held in Spain.

The Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil were the first Olympics in which Kosovo athletes competed under their own flag, after Kosovo was accepted as a member of the IOC in 2014.

"Now that it has happened again, this will be a huge problem for India".

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He said that "the International Olympic Committee and other international federations are putting a lot of effort into keeping politics away from sports, and for athletes to be treated equally everywhere", but issues still occur. "This is an issue of many countries that don't recognise Kosovo. Otherwise, this will threaten the fundamental principles of Olympic Movement", Batra wrote in his letter. "We are still talking to the Ministry of External Affairs".

"Failing which the situation will be reported to all global sports organisations concerned for appropriate action which will call into question the hosting of future worldwide sports events in India until the issue is solved", he added. 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games: Manu Bhaker Leads the List of Indian Athletes Participating in Buenos Aires Youth Olympics.

The decision by the Spanish Government was communicated today, 14 November 2018, by letter to the COE President, Mr Alejandro Blanco, and we would like to reiterate our honest gratitude for this decision, adopted by the Spanish Government and supported by the Prime Minister, Mr Pedro Sánchez.

Sadiku also holds an Albanian passport and was expected, along with her two coaches, to receive an entry visa to compete in the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships.

"It is a sensitive issue, I don't want to comment much on it", he said during a press conference in New Delhi.

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