IOC to recommend not to hold international competitions in Spain over Kosovo athletes
Measure to be taken if Spanish government does not “guarantee access” for Balkan country sportspeople; winter games bid in Catalonia at stake
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is considering recommending international federations not to hold competitions in Spain unless the government in Madrid "guarantees access not only to Kosovo but to every athlete to compete."
The IOC deputy general Pere Miró said in an interview with the sports news outlet Inside The Games that the organization is "ready" to make the suggestion.
"We cannot suspend a country and we cannot say they cannot organise events there," he told the newspaper. "But we are totally ready to say that and this is what we will say now - international federations, please before awarding any competition, make sure you have all the guarantees that all athletes will be welcome in Spain,” he added.
World karate championship
The IOC high official remarks come as the world karate championship came to an end on Sunday in Madrid.
"We are ready to say to international federations: please before awarding any competition, make sure you have all the guarantees that all athletes will be welcome in Spain"
Pere Miró · IOC deputy general
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.