The world boxing federation (AIBA) has taken cognizance of the failure of the Indian government to grant visa to Kosovo boxer Donjeta Sadiku for the ongoing Women’s World Boxing Championship and has said that they may have to reconsider India’s hosting rights for the 2021 Men’s World Championship.
Indian government’s decision to not give visa to Sadiku as it does not recognise Kosova as an independent nation hasn’t gone down well with even the International Olympic Council and it has conveyed to the Indian Olympic Association that this could hurt India’s chances of hosting any major events in the future.
Athletes participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics under the Kosovo flag despite Brazil not recognising the country and IOC recently managed to sort out a similar dispute with Spain to allow Kosovo players to participate in international tournaments in that country.
“It is very unfortunate that the Government of India has taken again the regrettable political decision of not allowing an athlete to achieve her dream of competing at a World Championships. Therefore, AIBA will study the appropriate actions will need to be consider to ensure that this situation never happens again, including the possibility to re-open the bidding process for the AIBA 2021 Men’s World Boxing Championships due to take place in India,” AIBA said in a statement on its website.
We are deeply concerned by this situation. Any boxer shouldn’t be affected by any political decision while trying to achieve the dream of competing at the international level. Politics and sports should in no way be mixed. We appreciate the efforts made by the Boxing Federation of India, but AIBA will need to reconsider the 2021 Men’s World Championships bid. This being said, we wish to reiterate our sincere apologize to Donjeta SADIKU and the boxing family of Kosovo.— AIBA President Gafur Rahimov
The Olympic Council of Asia had also written to Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and the IOA expressing regret over the Indian government’s decision and threatened said it could have long reaching ramifications.