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Serbia condemns IOC decision to admit self-proclaimed Kosovo into its ranks

December 10, 2014, 9:31 UTC+3 BELGRADE
The 127th session of the International Olympic Committee which ended in Monte Carlo on Tuesday voted for admitting the National Olympic Committee of Kosovo as a full-fledged IOC member
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©  EPA/TATYANA ZENKOVICH

BELGRADE, December 9 /TASS/. Serbia resolutely condemns the IOC decision to admit the National Olympic Committee of Kosovo into its ranks, the Serbian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We consider this decision to be unacceptable and unprincipled and assume that this act is contradicting the Olympic Charter,” Serbian Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said adding that under the Olympic Charter an IOC candidate should represent an independent state recognized by the international community on the whole.

The 127th session of the International Olympic Committee which ended in Monte Carlo on Tuesday voted for admitting the National Olympic Committee of Kosovo as a full-fledged IOC member. Kosovo’s athletes will now be able to take part in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“The IOC decision has violated the previous practice which presumed that a new IOC candidate should also be a United Nations member,” the Serbian Foreign Ministry’s press service quoted Dacic as saying.

“This is an act of an abuse and tendentious politicizing of sport while the IOC, as a universal organization which should be committed to sport development and contribute to promoting mutual understanding and friendship, has assumed the role of a political arbiter, Dacic went on to say.

“The Republic of Serbia believes that the IOC should not be a forum that considers disputable political decisions, which are controversial in the international context but should contribute to the unity and understanding instead of creating new demarcation lines,” Dacic emphasized.

Meanwhile, Vanja Udovicic, the Serbian minister for youth affairs and sport said as quoted by Serbian Sportski Zurnal /Sport Journal/ on Tuesday that the IOC decision to admit Kosovo as a full-fledged member has created a precedent, which could undermine the world sport system.

The International Olympic Committee included the National Olympic Committee of Kosovo into its ranks on Tuesday.

“I believe that this decision will have a negative impact on international sport. The IOC has created a precedent threatening to undermine the world sport system,” Udovicic said adding the motives behind that decision were unclear.

“How could Kosovo, which is still unrecognized by the United Nations, be admitted to the IOC? That has never happened before. Brazil, which is going to host the 2016 Olympic Games, has not recognized Kosovo. I am sorry that politically-motivated decisions are passed in sport. It will be very hard to preserve the fundamental sport principles after that,” Udovicic stressed.

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