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Football
Kosovo still waiting to kick-off
With Kosovo awaiting independent recognition from the United Nations, the national football team is on hold.
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2012 17:21
UEFA President Michel Platini was cautious about giving Kosovo approval to play friendlies [AFP]

Kosovo were kept waiting to know whether they would be allowed to play friendly internationals after FIFA again delayed a final decision on Friday.

FIFA had initially given approval at its Congress in May, but then put the decision on hold after opposition from the Serbian federation and UEFA president Michel Platini.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said the executive committee had decided to postpone a ruling on the matter until its next meeting in Tokyo in December.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 but has not yet won recognition from the United Nations, although it is recognised by around 90 UN member nations.

FIFA and UEFA statutes state that only nations recognised by the UN itself can be accepted as members.

The Football Federation of Kosovo (FFK) has made it clear that it is not seeking membership, but simply the right to play matches against teams from countries which recognise it.

Last week, Albania captain Lorik Cana and Swiss internationals Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka and Velon Behrami were among several players with Kosovan roots who backed the campaign for its right to play international football.

Along with five other Albanian internationals and Germany women international Fatmire Bajramaj, they signed a declaration which was sent to FIFA and Blatter by the FFK.

The FFK are worried that they may eventually be allowed to play only age-restricted games rather than full international friendlies.

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Source:
Reuters
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