Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani has slammed the decision to not allow Donjeta Sadiku to compete under Kosovo's flag at the Women's World Boxing Championships in New Delhi ©Getty Images

Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani has claimed that the decision to prevent Donjeta Sadiku from competing under the country's flag at the International Boxing Association (IBA) Women’s World Championships here is a "blatant violation of international sporting standards".

Osmani has taken to social media to urge Indian officials to "reconsider their decision" on the participation of the world bronze medallist, insisting Kosovo is "entitled" to compete under its flag and anthem.

Kosovo’s Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Hajrulla Çeku has also said that "such actions can’t pass without consequences".

The Kosovo Government has been angered by the stance of organisers that has resulted in Sadiku being withdrawn from the Women’s World Championships.

After struggling to get hold of a visa to enter India, which does not recognise Kosovo’s independence, Sadiku was finally granted one in Bulgaria.

However, the Kosovo Olympic Committee (KOK) said it refused to send Sadiku when organisers imposed what it described as "discriminatory" restrictions.

According to the KOK, Sadiku would only be allowed to compete if the Kosovo flag and national anthem were "not used in any manner or at any ceremony" and she wore outfits without national symbols printed on them.

The situation has infuriated Osmani who has issued a call to the Indian Government to lift restrictions given the Kosovo Boxing Federation is recognised by the IBA.

"The decision to prevent Donjeta Sadiku from taking part in the World Boxing Championship is a blatant violation of int'l (sic) sporting standards," Osmani wrote in a post on Twitter.

"As an IBA member, Kosovo is entitled to participate under its flag and anthem.

"We urge India to reconsider their decision."

Çeku posted on Twitter: "Boxer Donjeta Sadiku, world bronze medallist, won’t attend Women's World Boxing Champ (sic) in India.

"She was denied competing under Kosova flag/anthem by [Indian] authorities.

Donjeta Sadiku, left, had secured a visa to enter India but was withdrawn from the Women's World Championships due to what the Kosovo Olympic Committee described as
Donjeta Sadiku, left, had secured a visa to enter India but was withdrawn from the Women's World Championships due to what the Kosovo Olympic Committee described as "discriminatory" restrictions ©Getty Images

"This was immed. (sic) rejected by our sport orgs (sic).

"Such actions can’t pass without consequences.

"This flag will fly high."

The IBA has previously expressed its frustration at the host authorities' stance, insisting it had "done everything possible" to ensure Kosovo’s participation in New Delhi.

In a statement the IBA told insidethegames: "The IBA and Boxing Federation of India (BFI) did their utmost to create the conditions for Kosovo athletes to participate in the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in New Delhi. 

"The Indian Government was also very cooperative, and the team was granted visas for the competitions.

"It was unfortunate to learn that the athletes of Kosovo declined the opportunity to come to New Delhi. 

"IBA always stands for the athletes’ right to represent their national symbols but cannot influence the diplomatic relationships between countries.

"IBA reiterates its position for sports without borders and out of politics and accepts no discrimination on any basis and will continue to fight for its athletes' rights to compete."

However, the IBA has also been criticised by a senior Kosovo Government official after Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin attended last night’s Opening Ceremony of the Women’s World Championships.

Russian and Belarusian athletes are being allowed to participate under their flags and anthem in contrary to the International Olympic Committee’s recommendations in light of the war in Ukraine.

The controversial decision has led to many National Federations including those from the United States, Britain and Ukraine boycotting the event.

Matytsin sat down next to Russian official Kremlev, Indian Sports Minister Anurag Thakur and Boxing Federation of India President Array Singh during the ceremony.

"A Minister of [Vladimir] Putin's gov (sic). sitting next to IBA President, the International Federation that banned Donjeta Sadiku from her participation with [Kosovo’s] state symbols in Boxing World Championships,” Kosovo’s Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Daulina Osmani posted on Twitter.

"The level of politics' influence in this sporting event, simply says it all."

Sadiku was refused a visa to enter India at the 2018 Women’s World Championships which was also held in New Delhi and faced similar problems at the Youth Women's World Championships in the Indian city of Guwahati a year earlier.

The IBA faced criticism from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in October 2021, when it was accused of failing to conduct "necessary due diligence" on the awarding of the Men's World Championships to Serbia's capital Belgrade.

Kosovo's team was refused entry to Serbia on at least three occasions at that event.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, and the KOK was recognised by the IOC in 2014.

However, Serbia continues to view Kosovo as an autonomous part of its own country, and there is division in the international community over its recognition.

insidethegames has contacted the BFI, the IBA and the Indian Sports Ministry for comment.