Athletics

Kosovo take step forward in the world of sport

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Football News
24/7

Kosovo has taken another step forward in the sporting world by gaining full membership from the International Olympic Committee, reports the BBC.

The Balkan star can now compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. 

The Serbian Olympic Committee protested in October when the IOC granted the breakaway national provisional membership.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 but the Serbian government refuses to acknowledge the nation’s existence.

It is officially recognised as a nation by 108 of 193 United Nations member states.

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Despite being a full member of six Olympic sports federations, Kosovo’s request to compete at the 2012 Games was rejected; the only Kosovan to appear at the tournament was Majlinda Kelmendi who represented Albania in judo.

Kosovo is also campaigning for recognition in the footballing world; in January this year FIFA granted Kosovo permission to play friendly matches against other recognised nations.

Football team does not exist

However, as Kosovo is not a member of UEFA, the FIFA rulebook means that Kosovo’s football association cannot be recognised by the world governing body.

Kosovo is a contentious issue in Eastern Europe; a Euro 2016 qualifier in October between Serbia and Albania was abandoned after a drone bearing a pro-Albanian flag flew over the stadium in Belgrade.

The two nations are at odds over Kosovo, Serbia refuses to acknowledge its existence to the annoyance of Albania.

Controversy

Serbian defender Stefan Mitrovic pulled the flag down which angered several Albanian players, the players started brawling and some home fans invaded the pitch forcing Martin Atkinson to abandon the game after 41 minutes.

Away fans were banned from the stadium but the players had to run for the tunnel as supporters threw objects, including a chair at them.

Serbia were handed a 3-0 walkover however they were also penalised three points for their part in the trouble and forced to play two games behind closed doors.

Both associations were also fined 100,000 euros.

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Topics:
Olympics
Commonwealth Games
Athletics

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