Mon. Apr 6th, 2020

Spain allow Kosovo athletes to compete under their flag, according to the IOC – La Provincia

Spain allow Kosovo athletes to compete under their flag, according to the IOC - La Provincia


Spain will give visas and allow the Kosovar athletes use their national symbols in international competitions organized in the country, despite the fact that Madrid does not recognize the independence of that old Serbian province, reported Wednesday the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE).

"The Government of Spain will provide the sports delegations of Kosovo that compete in Spain with the corresponding visa and they will be authorized to use their own national symbols, anthem and flag, according to the Olympic protocol, "the COE said in a statement.

This resolution transmitted today by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell in a letter to the president of the COE, Alejandro Blanco, comes after the discomfort of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with Spain over the treatment of Kosovar athletes.

In the karate world championships held from 6 to 11 November in Madrid, for example, the Kosovar delegation could not use its flag nor his anthem and competed under the banner of the International Karate Federation.

"From the political sphere, and we have no opinion, we can recognize or not recognize a country. you have to apply and find the solutions so that the athletes are protected and can participate, defending at least the Olympic Committee of their own country, "Spanish Juan Antonio Samaranch, vice president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said on Tuesday.

Spain, confronted by separatist movements in Catalonia and the Basque Country, is one of the few countries in the EU that does not recognize Kosovo, an old Serbian province populated mostly by Albanians and which unilaterally proclaimed its independence in 2008.

The IOC, faced with this situation, asked the different federations not to attribute major competitions to Spain until the matter is resolved, a source close to the agency in Lausanne told AFP.

Therefore, the authorization of the Spanish executive to grant visas and allow the use of its symbols to the Kosovar athletes has been well received by the COE and the IOC that in the communiqu "express their maximum and public satisfaction for the decision".

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