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Serbia’s National Olympic Committee condemns Kosovo’s Olympic recognition

December 11, 2014, 19:44 UTC+3 BELGRADE

The 127th session of the International Olympic Committee voted for admitting the National Olympic Committee of Kosovo as a full-fledged IOC member

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© AP Photo/Mark Baker

BELGRADE, December 11 /TASS/. Representatives of Serbia’s National Olympic Committee has held several meetings with International Olympic Committee /IOC/ officials to set forth its arguments against the IOC decision to admit the National Committee of the self-proclaimed Kosovo to its ranks, Serbia’s National Olympic Committee reported on its website on Thursday.

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.

Serbia’s National Olympic Committee has resolutely condemned Kosovo’s Olympic recognition.

“The National Olympic Committee of Serbia had tried to include athletes residing in Kosovo and Metohija in its programmes in a bid to integrate them into the Serbian sport system and give them a chance to perform under its jurisdiction,” the Serbian National Olympic Committee said.

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic has also condemned the IOC decision to admit the National Olympic Committee of Kosovo into its ranks.

“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 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 said.

“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 on Tuesday that the IOC decision had created a precedent, which could undermine the world sport system.

“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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