Spanish TV station refuses to recognise Kosovo's independence during live broadcast
The controversy occurred throughout the Spain vs Kosovo match on Wednesday
Spain's public broadcaster has caused controversy after they refused to acknowledge Kosovo's status as an independent nation throughout the 2022 World Cup qualifier between the two countries.
On every graphic, whether it was the scoreboard, the team sheet or the line-up, Kosovo's name was written in lowercase letters. Spain does not recognise Kosovo's independence
Spain's Public TV is a joke. Writes Kosovo in lowercase letters vs Spain in capital letters during tonight's match. 😤😤😤🐂🐂🐂 pic.twitter.com/P4w5PPhbtH
— Kosovo national team (@team_kosovo) March 31, 2021
Before the match, the Spanish football federation referred to Kosovo, which broke away from Serbia in 2008 and was accepted as a fully-fledged member of FIFA and UEFA in 2016, as a 'territory.' There had even been reports that the Balkan nation would not have their flag displayed or national anthem sung before the game, although neither of these things happened.
This didn't stop the commentators referring to the side as the "team from the Kosovo federation" though.
Whilst the majority of nations, including the UK, do recognise Kosovo's independence, there are several countries who do not. These include China, Russia, Greece, and of course Spain, who oppose Kosovo's independence due to the implications it may have for the situation in Catalonia, a region of Spain that has argued for independence for years now. If Spain were to recognise Kosovo as a nation, they fear it could justify the Catalonian claims for independence.
Because Spain does not recognise Kosovo independence, their name is being written in lower-case letters for tonight's game. Beyond petty. pic.twitter.com/zIJcBgtSTz
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) March 31, 2021
The nation of 1.8 million people had initially been drawn in the same group as Serbia, the nation that it declared independence from, but was moved to a Spain's group for obvious reasons surrounding the tension between Serbia and Kosovo and the potential ramifications of a match between the two.
You'd have thought though that they maybe could have been moved to group that didn't include a nation that refuses to recognises their existence as an independent country though.