Kosovan boxer unlikely to get visa

Aubrey Yates
November 16, 2018

"But we must find and apply solutions so that athletes are protected and can participate by at least defending the Olympic committee of their own country".

Sadiku was to compete in the 60kg category.

Denial of participation to Donjeta Sadiku might lead to India being barred from hosting any major sporting event in future with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) having already giving a verbal warning and likely to send out formal letters to all international sports federations reiterating the same, something that has the Indian Olympic Association concerned. BFI president Ajay Singh also conceded that it was up to the MEA.

The World Championships would see participation from over 300 boxers from 73 countries but it is the one missing name - Donjeta - that might well overshadow the entire event.

"If the Spanish Government are not in the conditions to guarantee the access not only to Kosovo but to every athlete to compete, we should warn all IFs [international federations] that, until this is solved, they should not hold worldwide competitions there", the IOC's director for National Olympic Committee (NOC) relations, Pere Miro, was as saying by Inside The Games. "This had happened past year as well", said IOA president Narinder Batra. Brazil does not recognise Kosovo, but their athletes participated in the Rio Olympics. All because India is a nation that does not recognise Kosovo's independence and, thus, will have issues while procuring a visa for a Kosovan boxer before the upcoming Women's World Boxing C'ships in the Indian capital starting tomorrow. "I share IOA president's concern as India is in danger of losing big events". We might also get a letter from the International Olympic Committee soon.

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"We can recognise or not a country at the political level, we don't have an opinion on that", International Olympic Committee vice president Juan Antonio Samaranch, who is from Spain, told reporters in Madrid. "Otherwise, this will threaten the fundamental principles of Olympic Movement", Batra wrote in his letter.

The Spanish government had earlier said it never denied visas to Kosovo athletes, and that it had done everything to allow them to compete in Spain despite not recognizing the country's independence.

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 Boxing Federation of India is hosting the Women's World Championships tournament after 12 long years but the IOA is anxious about the repercussions. But, besides Serbia, Russia, China and some other countries, five European Union states also do not recognise Kosovo - Spain, Slovakia, Romania, Cyprus and Greece.

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