On December 27 the Kosovo Olympic Committee (KOC) announced the completion of its Annual Working General Assembly after postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the Assembly also being observed by representatives of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Acting Secretary General, Iber Alaj, and Acting Director of the Department of Sports, Fitim Arifi, the Kosovo MMA Federation – representing the sport of mixed martial arts – was on the agenda alongside other sports subsequently accepted via a committee vote to receive full membership within the KOC.
President of the Kosovo MMA Federation, Besart Berisha (pictured below), himself a former amateur MMA competitor, thanked the KOC via social media, he stated: “Thankyou Kosovo Olympic Committee, thank you to all the sports federation in Kosovo for accepting Kosovo’s Federation of Mixed Martial Arts into the big Olympic family. We will work hard and make you and all of Kosovo proud.”
Speaking with IMMAF.org, he added: “We are honored, now we are fully accepted with full rights. The Ministry has been looking to let us wait but we are a strong federation with young, disciplined people who are very motivated. It is a privilege for this to have been acknowledged by the KOC and in the new year we are pushing forward for recognition under the Ministry also. We look forward to working together for the great progress of MMA and all sport in Kosovo.”
Kosovo now adds to the substantial list of over 40 IMMAF member nations recognised by their national government and/or Olympic Committee. Other IMMAF members with recognition under their Olympic Committee include Bahrain, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Finland, Norway Moldova, South Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq.