Serbia Refuses Entry To Kosovar Boxers For AIBA Championship
Kosovo’s boxing federation has been stopped by Serbian authorities from entering the country to participate in the amateur world championships.
Three competitors from Kosovo were sent to Serbia border, but they were denied entry for wearing their sports uniforms that had Kosovo’s logo.
The boxers tried to enter Serbia again on Sunday, but the border authorities asked them to wear attire that doesn’t show Kosovo’s flag. Kosovo used to be a Serbia province before it achieved independence in 2008. However, the Serbia government has yet to recognize it as an independent state.
The AIBA is in touch with boxing authorities in Serbia and has assured Kosovo that they are trying to resolve the matter.
The event kicked off on October 24. The final will be held on November 6.
“We believe that all athletes must receive a fair chance to compete and demonstrate their best abilities in the ring,” the AIBA said. “Sport is intended to unite people and should be free of national politics.”
Belgrade is hosting the championships for the second time.
New Delhi was originally handed the contract for this year, but the agreement fell apart when AIBA and the Boxing Federation of India couldn’t agree terms for the hosting fees.