Kosovo visa issue: India at risk of losing worldwide events

Spain’s position on Kosovo could hurt its chances to host major sports events

"This will ensure that the athletes of Kosovo can participate under the same conditions as all the other athletes from the 206 National Olympic Committees recognized by the IOC".

"She can come here as an Albanian citizen because we recognise Albania but how will that help in representing Kosovo when the Kosovan flag cannot be hoisted on Indian soil?"

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.

A high-ranking official with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said letters would be sent out to all international federations, suggesting they should avoid hosting international sports competitions in Spain unless Kosovar athletes are guaranteed permission to participate under their own flag and national anthem.

"For IOC, sports and politics are two sides of the same coin". "We are still talking to the Ministry of External Affairs". It is a sensitive issue, I don't want to comment much on it.

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"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. It is a global issue and there needs to be a dialogue between all sides to find a solution to this problem. Asked on IOA's apprehension, he said: "We have not seen any official letter from the International Olympic Committee but there is an apprehension in IOA which we have considered and we have appraised the MEA of this".

The Balkan country has been recognised by more than 110 countries. "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. "But ultimately the decision to whether or not grant visas is really a sovereign issue", Singh added.

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.

"Wherever athletes of Kosovo are not allowed to participate, it damages them directly because they lose the chance to qualify for the World Championships or Olympic Games", Hasani said. The IOC granted recognition to the Kosovo Olympic Association in 2014.

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