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Can Kosovo play the game?

October 29th, 2007 by Sanne Juul · 2 Comments

Sportsjournalist Driton Latifi

Since 1991 kosovar athletes have not been able to compete on an international level.
The war agains Serbia was the first stopper for the athletes - the war ended in 1999 but since then the kosovar athletes have been trapped in a game of politics.

For 16 years Kosovo has not had a national team in any sport because the country is not recognized as a nation. Athlethes have waited to be let back in to the good company of international events but the political game of solving the problems is still going on and until that game is finished the waiting goes on.

According to sportsjournalist at the Lajm Daily in Kosovo, Driton Latifi, Kosovo is ready to get back on the international scene.
He also believes that it is important for the Kosovo people to get their own identity and national shirt:

-Sport means a lot to us. It also means everything for us to get our own national shirt because it is the patriotic feelings that keep us alive.

A Kosovo national shirt can be close to becoming reality. This summer kosovar athletes took the streets of capital Prishtina to speak up about what they believe to be dicrimination in sport.
A working group has been initiated and has made contact with both international football union FIFA and the International Olympic Commitee IOC.

The kosovar working group is hoping that the international communities will allow the kosovars to be part of the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008.
Whether the kosovar athletes will compete in the Olympics Games is still unsure. The working group is still negotiating with the IOC to let Kosovo compete in the Olympics 2008 on the background that East Timor was allowed in the Olympics in Sydney in 2000 even though the country was not yet internationally recognized as a nation then.

Sportsjournalist Driton Latifi is hoping for just that to happen:

-We are kosovar and that is how we want people around the world to see us. We want to be recognized for who we are.

What are your views on the Kosovo situation - can Kosovo play the game???

Tags: Theme: Autonomy of sport

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