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Spain to give Kosovo athletes visas and allow national symbols

Spanish authorities respond to IOC threat to advise international federations not to hold sporting events in Spain

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14 November 2018 07:09 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The Spanish government will issue visas to sportspeople from Kosovo and will allow the presence of its national symbols whenever they compete in Spain.

This comes after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) threatened to advise international federations not to hold any international competitions in Spain.

The IOC deputy general Pere Miró had previously said in an interview with the sports news outlet Inside The Games that the organization was "ready" to make the suggestion.

World karate championship

The IOC high official remarks came as the world karate championship ended on Sunday, in Madrid.

The Kosovo athletes were allowed to take place, but with the acronym KKF (for Kosovo Karate Federation), and their names appeared in scoreboards and screens next to the initials WKF (for World Karate Federation), instead of their country name, according to Inside The Games.

This was the agreement between Spain and Kosovo authorities, and for Pere Miró this was "acceptable" but "did not go far enough."

Spain is one of the 5 countries in the EU not recognizing Kosovo as an independent country after its parliament declared independence in February 2008.

Some voices have shown concern over how this could affect the Barcelona-Catalan Pyrenees joint bid to host the 2030 winter Olympic Games.

 

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  • Kosovar athletes carry the national flag during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics (by Reuters)

  • Kosovar athletes carry the national flag during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics (by Reuters)