Asian Olympic Council Warns India After Kosovo Boxer Denied Visa

The Indian government refused to give visa to Donjeta Sadiku and her coaches as India doesn’t recognize the Republic of Kosovo.


India’s ambition to host major international sporting events could get hurt after the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) warned the country for denying a boxer from Kosovo visa to compete in the women’s world championships in New Delhi.

According to a report by AFP, the Indian government refused to give visa to Donjeta Sadiku and her two coaches despite getting the full backing of the Boxing Federation of India and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

Sadiku was to take part in 60kg event. This is the second time Sadiku has been denied Indian visa. India first denied her visa for women’s World Youth Championships in Guwahati last year.

India has expressed a strong interest in hosting the 2032 Olympics and 2030 Asian Games, the agency wrote. India is one of the few big economies in Asia that is yet to host the Olympics. Japanese capital Tokyo has hosted Olympics in 1964 and is going to host again in 2020. South Korean capital Seoul has hosted Olympic games in 1988 while Beijing hosted it in 2008. The last Asian Games in India were held in 1984.

OCA chief Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah wrote a letter to India’s sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and IOA president Narinder Batra saying the incident could have far-reaching effects.

“The incident has seriously cast a doubt on the eligibility of India in hosting major international sporting events and other major games, like the Olympics, Asian Games etc, in India,” AFP quoted the OCA president as saying in his letter.

India does not recognize Kosovo, which broke away from Serbia in 2008. Even today Kosovo remains partially recognized with many countries, including Russia, still not recognizing the secular Muslim majority Balkan state.

Al-Sabah reminded India about the rules of the Olympic Charter and said, “As you are aware as per Olympic Charter and OCA constitution, it is the duty of the organizing committee to provide entry to every eligible athlete participating in a major championship without discrimination,” he wrote, according to AFP.

Meanwhile, AIBA, the world boxing body on Nov. 16 threatened to withdraw the 2021 men’s World Championships from India after the visa denial issue blew up.


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