30 October 2017

EOC Secretary General Raffaele Pagnozzi paid a three-day visit to the Olympic Committee of Kosovo, where he was welcomed by NOC President Besim Hasani and Secretary General Sasivar Haxhijaj, and where he was updated on the activities of the National Olympic Committee and their Strategic Plan for the 2017-2020 quadrennial.

During his stay Pagnozzi also attended a course for sports administrators for the Kosovo Weightlifting Federation, organised in cooperation with IOC Olympic Solidarity, where he lectured 17 administrators, federal officials, clubs, weightlifters and coaches, on good governance and NOC administration. Among the attendees were the chairman of the Kosovo Weightlifting Federation, Mr Astrit Hasani, as well as the Kosovo National Team coach Mr Uzeyir Haciyev, who had previously headed the National Teams of Turkey, Russia and Azerbaijan.

NOC President Hasani and EOC Secretary General Pagnozzi then met the Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo, in charge of Foreign Affairs, Mr Behgjet Pacolli, at his residence in Hajvali.

Mr Pacolli thanked Mr. Pagnozzi for his visit to Kosovo, promising strong government support for Kosovo’s sport. “A state without sport is like a body without a limb, so we must support sports and sporting activities in all ways. The people who represent sport are our best ambassadors. Therefore, the visit of Mr Pagnozzi is very important, and I would like him to see that we love sport and we are serious about it,” said Pacolli, who promised the NOC that they are working to secure a new building.

The EOC Secretary General noted how the Olympic gold medal won by judoka Majlinda Kelmendi opened the doors to the development of sport in Kosovo. “I have to say that I have an extremely good impression, not only for the work that the Kosovo Olympic Committee is doing, but above all this morning’s meeting shows how political authorities support sport. I believe that after the gold medal in Rio, Kosovo can greatly develop, because we are all focused on helping Kosovo,” said Pagnozzi, who added that, according to him, Kosovo has chosen the best route in the sense of good internal organization, but is also doing a thorough job in creating a network of sports leaders, and this is very important for the world of sport.

NOC President Besim Hasani called Pagnozzi’s visit extremely important: “The European and International Olympic Committees rightly consider us to be a three year old new-born baby, and want us to grow healthily and vigorously. Today our encounter with Deputy Prime Minister Pacolli shows how cooperation between the non-governmental and the governmental bodies is extremely good. Mr Pacolli had visited us at the NOC in other capacities, and he continues to support us, as we have a partnership with Mabetex that is of great importance to us,” said Hasani.

This is the second visit by the leaders of the European Olympic Committees and the International Olympic Committee to the Kosovo Olympic Committee.

In July, the NOC was visited by Pamela Vipond, deputy director of IOC Olympic Solidarity and Gianluca de Angelis, EOC administration manager, who were excited about the work and achievements of the KOC.

Thanks to IOC Olympic Solidarity support, the training programme initiated by the NOC of Kosovo last 1 November will continue training trainers for some time to come.