Kosovo has been accepted as a member of the Mediterranean Games ©

Kosovo has been accepted as the 25th member of the International Committee of the Mediterranean Games (ICMG) here at today's Extraordinary General Assembly, meaning the Balkan Republic will participate at the 2017 event in Tarragona in Spain.

Following their recognition by the International Olympic Committee and European Olympic Committees (EOC), the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) followed suit here yesterday, meaning the ICMG was the only remaining body not to have done so.

A 75 per cent majority among the 24 existing members was required, something which had not previously been achieved.

Pressure has been increased in recent weeks, however, with today's meeting taking place immediately after the end of the ANOC General Assembly set-up purely to discuss the issue.

Both ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah and EOC counterpart Patrick Hickey were present, along with ICMG President Amar Addadi of Algeria.

Even today there remained some opposition, insidethegames understands, but Kosovo was accepted by acclamation and will now have full rights to participate in the 2017 Games, scheduled for the Catalan Port City from June 30 until July 9 in 2017.

"Following the recent decisions of the IOC, ANOC and the EOC, the ICMG decided to grant full reognition of the Kosovo NOC, which becomes the 25th member," Kosovo Olympic Committee (KOC) President Besim Hasani told insidethegames today. 

"We are very happy as it means we can now participate in the Mediterranean Games."

KOC President Besim Hasani, pictured (centre) following Kosovo and South Sudan's recognition by ANOC yesterday ©Getty Images
KOC President Besim Hasani, pictured (centre) following Kosovo and South Sudan's recognition by ANOC ©Getty Images

The Mediterranean Games are a multi-sport event held every four years between European, African and Asian nations around or very close to the Mediterranean Sea.

Kosovo will join 18 other European members - Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey.

 Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia in Africa and Lebanon and Syria in Asia are also members.

Every country that borders the Sea is a member except for Israel, with Kosovo due to become the fifth landlocked participant after Serbia, Macedonia, Andorra and San Marino.

Kosovan athletes have previously competed at the Games as part of a Yugoslavian team.

Indeed, KOC acting secretary general Mehmet Bogujevci, present here this week alongside Hasani, won an under 67kg boxing gold at the 1979 Games in Split. 

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