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IOA Writes to Sports Ministry, Asks for Kosovan Boxer to be Cleared Immediately

To avoid losing out on big ticket international events, the Indian Olympic Association, wrote a strongly worded letter to the Sports Ministry to resolve the controversy regarding the Kosovan boxer Donjeta Sadiku’s visa.

News18 Sports

Updated:November 14, 2018, 6:54 PM IST
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IOA Writes to Sports Ministry, Asks for Kosovan Boxer to be Cleared Immediately
To avoid losing out on big ticket international events, the Indian Olympic Association, wrote a strongly worded letter to the Sports Ministry to resolve the controversy regarding the Kosovan boxer Donjeta Sadiku’s visa.
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To avoid losing out on big ticket international events, the Indian Olympic Association, wrote a strongly worded letter to the Sports Ministry to resolve the controversy regarding the Kosovan boxer Donjeta Sadiku’s visa.

In his letter to the Ministry, IOA President Narinder Batra made it clear that not allowing the Sadiku to be part of the women’s World Championships could lead to India being barred by the IOC from hosting events.

“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,” Batra said wrote in his letter.

“Failing which the situation will be reported to all international sports organisations concerned for appropriate action which will call into question the hosting of future international sports events in India until the issue is solved,” he added.

Batra noted that not allowing the Kosovan boxer could see the IOC then ask other international federations to not award India any major events.

India does not recognise Kosovo - a disputed territory in South Eastern Europe - but since Sadiku also holds an Albanian passport, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) was hoping that a resolution would not be faraway. India has diplomatic ties with Albania.

"IOC has in the past sent letters to International Federations not to award major events to Spain after athletes from Kosovo were not allowed to participate under their own flag at the Karate World Championships. And you never know it might be India next," an IOA official had told PTI on Tuesday.

Earlier in the year athletes from Kosovo were not allowed to participate under their flag at the Karate World Championships in Spain.

In the letter, Batra said that there were multiple examples in the past of local organisers/host countries of major international sports events allowing the participation of athletes from countries/territories that they did not recognise at a political level.

“International sports organisations cannot accept a situation where a host country unilaterally forbids the participation of certain athletes from other countries/territories on political grounds. Otherwise, this will threaten the fundamental principles of Olympic Movement,” he wrote in the letter.

India does not recognise Kosovo – a disputed territory in South Eastern Europe.

Another IOA official said Kosovo also participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics despite the fact that Brazil too doesn’t recognise the disputed country.

Kosovan boxers did not participate in the Youth World Championships held in Guwahati last year due to the same issue.

The IOA plans to bid for the 2026 Youth Olympics Games and the bidding process is likely to start in 2020.
| Edited by: Abhimanyu Sen
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