The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will recommend the sports federation to refuse to hold competitions in Spain because of the country’s position on the issue of Kosovo independence.
According to El Pais, with reference to a high-ranking official from the IOC, the organization has prepared letters that will be sent to all international sports federations. They recommend avoiding competitions in Spain unless athletes from Kosovo are allowed to perform under their own flag and anthem.
This is exactly the situation created at the World Karate Championship, which took place in Spain last week. The Kosovars performed in neutral status without a flag and anthem – only the initials of the federation, KKF, were inscribed on their equipment. At the same time, at the Mediterranean Games in Spain in 2016 and at the Olympics in Brazil, Kosovo performed under its own flag, a special agreement was concluded before the competition.
- We knew about the problems of the Kosovar karatekas, but we could not ban the tournament right before the start. What we can do is to say – if the Spanish government cannot guarantee participation in competitions not only for athletes from Kosovo, but also from any other country, we must warn the federations. Before solving problems, there should be no competitions there, ”Pere Miro, head of the IOC for relations with the National Olympic Committee, quotes the Inside the Games portal.
In turn, the representatives of Spain are unhappy with the possible decision of the IOC and recall that Kosovo is not recognized by almost half of the UN member states.
- In this situation, Spain will not be able to organize a single sports tournament. In all countries of the world, with the exception of Spain, representatives of Kosovo compete without problems with the same rights as other athletes. Naturally, we must respect the laws and decisions of the government, but also the position of the IOC and the federations. The sports world cannot be opened for everyone except Kosovo, – the head of the Spanish Olympic Committee Alejandro Blanco quotes El Pais.