Wednesday , May 18 2022

Spain supports the attitude of Kosovo after the IOC warned – RT Sport Nevs


Spain will supply athletes from Kosovo with the same rights as other competitors at sports events in the country after changing their stance after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) pressure.

Spain has recently faced monitoring as the host of the Karate World Championship, where Kosovo athletes are allowed to compete, but only wear "neutral" uniforms, and not under the Kosovo flag.

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Flag of Kosovo © REUTERS / Ognen Teofilovski

This prompted the IOC's warning that Spain could be deprived of the right to host future events unless it reconsidered its position.

In a joint statement Wednesday, the IOC and the Spanish Olympic Committee said the government of the Iberian nation now promised to provide full and equal rights to Kosovo's competitors.

"The Spanish government will provide Kosovo sports delegations to compete in Spain with an appropriate visa and to be allowed to use their national symbols, anthems and flags in accordance with the Olympic Protocol" the Spanish Foreign Minister, Josep Borrell, said in a statement.

"This will ensure that Kosovo athletes can participate under the same conditions as all other athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees that the IOC recognizes" he added.

Spain has rejected claims that it has previously rejected visas for Kosovo athletes, although it is one of the few European countries that do not recognize the independence of the secluded region.

This attitude is due to fears of Spain over potential secessionist regions, including Catalonia.

READ MORE: Spanish football in the US: Barcelona in Girona in doubt about Catalana's independence

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 in a decision against which the Serbs themselves and numerous nations, including Russia, are themselves. The IOC granted full status to Kosovo at the end of 2014, making it the 205th Olympic Committee recognized by the organization.

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