Visa Debacle: Kosovo boxer Donjeta Sadiku's name missing from draw

Paola Ditto
Novembre 16, 2018

India has diplomatic ties with Albania.

The IOC had recently warned Spain - which also doesn't recognise Kosovo since it broke away from Serbia in 2008 - after the latter refused permission to Kosovan athletes from competing under the national flag at the recent World World Karate Championships in Madrid. "And you never know - it might be India next", an IOA official who did not wish to be named, told PTI.

Once again, the IOC and the COE wish to underline the fundamental role played by sport and the Olympic Movement in building a more inclusive, fairer society, in which dialogue and respect are the cornerstones and key principles.

In a strongly-worded letter to the Sports ministry, Batra wrote, "It is required that immediate action is taken today by Indian authorities to make sure the athletes and delegation from Kosovo will be able to take part in the women's World Boxing Championships, and will be treated in the same conditions as any other participants without any undue discrimination in accordance with the values and principles which govern the Olympic movement worldwide". "We have taken up the matter", Singh said. "We are still talking to the Ministry of External Affairs". It is a global issue and there needs to be a dialogue between all sides to find a solution to this problem. This is not about boxing alone, it's a much larger issue.

Singh said the International Olympic Committee needs to mediate in this matter. Another IOA official said Kosovo also participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics despite the fact that Brazil too doesn't recognise the disputed country. "So we have to find a solution between International Olympic Committee and all these countries because this includes lot of western nations, South-East Asian nations", he said.

A professional boxer from Kosovo has been denied a visa to India to participate and compete in the women's world championships starting tomorrow because the Indian foreign ministry does not recognise her country's independence formally, an official was quoted as saying by AFP on Tuesday. If one remembers correctly, this was also a subject that took over the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation after after Swiss footballer Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka were much in the limelight for their rendition of the Kosovan eagle after scoring goals in the tournament where the host country did not recognise Kosovo's independence from Serbia. The Serbian Olympic committee protested when Kosovo was granted provisional IOC recognition in October 2014. It is recognised as a country by 113 of the 193 United Nations member states.

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.

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